far too much writing, far too many photos

Last night I drove back from the central part of the state as dusk crept in. I don’t have sunset views here at my little fiefdom — the sun gradually disappears behind trees and the top of the hill, I miss whatever show the last light brings. For that matter, I didn’t get to see many sunsets in Madrid — same story, with brick and concrete replacing trees/hill. When I get the opportunity to see a real display, I soak it up.

Route 89 cuts through a tremendous expanse of beautiful land — green mountains, long winding valleys, wide vistas. It enters the state at White River Junction, stretching across the Connecticut River, continuing west, gradually curving north and continuing toward that point of the compass until Montpelier where it bends west-northwest again, toward Burlington. I’ve driven it many, many times, yet it remains fresh and wears many faces, depending on the season, the time of day, the weather.

Yesterday evening, well into the protracted northbound leg of the drive, I came around a long turn where the western sky became visible and found that expanse nearly bisected from west to east by three or four rows of long, narrow clouds. Arranged like parallel strips, but broken, a bit ragged. The sun had dropped behind the hills, the clouds caught the slow final stretch of direct light, and they shone, a brilliant deep pink color, almost flamingo pink. But concentrated, intense, insistent. They shone, nearly electric, though for some reason not casting the kind of glow that colors the land below. Nothing reflected it back, nothing pulled focus from the intensity of their light. Above them, extending off to the east, rising to tremendous heights, stretched thunderheads, slate gray, containing the occasional burst of lightning, the only light that could compete with the clouds.

With time, the clouds paled, the thunderheads loomed larger, flashes of lightning becoming brighter, more distinct.

There’s nothing like a spectacular sky at sunset. It’s a miracle I managed to stay on the road with all that distraction.

I blabber, I know. I’ll stop. Friends just arrived to visit for a day or two — my best friend, his wife, their two kids. Their 1-1/2 year old daughter Madeline is beginning to dismantle my house, so I should probably go take preventive measures. Wish me luck.

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