Sky Candy

If you have followed my adventures for any time, you know that I LOVE sunrise. Sunsets are awesome, but there is something about a dark sky evolving into light — sometimes with riotous color and sometimes soft pastels — that just makes my day!

Taxco being a mountain town with many ups and downs, there are many vantage points for overlooking the city. My room though, located on the fourth floor overlooking the valley to the East, offers the perfect vantage point for viewing the sunrise over the surrounding mountains.

I could lie in bed and watch the sun come up, if I wanted to, yet stepping out onto my terrace balcony, where I have an unobstructed  view of the “puesta del sol,” while breathing in the fresh morning air, is almost a spiritual experience. Each new day is a fresh palette, painting a new masterpiece never to be seen again. How can I miss even one?

I share with you here some of the more spectacular daybreaks. Grab a “cuppa” and sit back and enjoy the show.

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As the World Turns

Back a while ago, I was posting pictures of spectacular sunrises over the mountains. Flaming reds, oranges, and golds dashed across a molten sky. They were awesome and took my breath away. Waking up in the morning was a feast for the eyes and a boost for the whole day.

Sunrise, Taxco, Mexico

At the time there were discussions about what made the sunrises here so spectacular. Was it ash from the volcano or other debris in the air? Was it the location of Taxco? The location of my house on the side of the mountain? The angle of the sun? What? What? What?

In late February, the sky became mostly cloudless. Without clouds to add their puffy, rolling, or roiling influence, most sunrises were a calm, pastel rainbow of shades from pale yellow to coral to pink to violet.

Sunrise, cloudless sky, Taxco de Alarcon, Mexico

I was away much of March and when I returned to Taxco I noticed another shift in my sunrise watching. No longer could I see the sunrise from my door; I had to go outside. And even then, the view of the sun rising in the valley below was obscured by one of the mountains of Taxco.

Sunrise, Taxco de Alarcon, Mexico

And so it remains.  Each day, the world turns a little more and with that so has the location of the sunrise. Oh I can see the sunrise from here, but only the afterglow IF there are clouds high enough above to reflect the rays. The colors are more muted and last just a moment; it is not the slow awakening of the day it once was.

And if no high clouds? The light just gets brighter and brighter until the sun itself rises above the buildings.

But there are enough of those special moments to keep me watching. Here’s a glimpse of a few of those “high clouds” days over the last few weeks.

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With the change to daylight savings time and the continued movement of the sun around and behind the mountain, I fear there may be few sunrises to share with you before I leave. But, rest assured — if a spectacular sunrise comes along, I will certainly do so.

You don’t know what you are missing

It is said, “That you do not know what you have until its gone.” In other words, take nothing for granted.

I was very aware that I could not see the sunrise in Ocotito, mostly because I did not know where to go to see it. Lil’s parent’s house was on the wrong side of the hill, the house was dark until well after sunrise, and the yard was too obscured by trees to see much of anything anyway.

Even the one sunset I managed to catch was a bit mild mannered.

So imagine my joy and wonder as the sky welcomed me back to Taxco with riotous color this morning!

There was even color over the Zocolo!

Sunrise over Zocolo, Taxco de Alarcon, MexicoOh sunrise, how I have missed thee!

Makes me realize just what a wonderful vantage point I have to view this glorious show each morning.

I will never take this view for granted.

Sunrise — Sunset

I saw my first sunset in Taxco today. Since the sun drops behind the mountains long before it sets, seeing any color at night is most unusual.

But wait, the sunset (r) was in the exact same place as the sunrise (l) this morning!

“How is that?” I asked my friend. And she responded with “January is crazy; February more” which may explain the ups and downs of the weather but not why the sun is setting in the east.

Having no logical explanation of this phenomenon, I will merely share the photos of this morning’s sunrise with you. Enjoy!

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Sunrise in the Mountains

If you have followed my adventures for any amount of time, you know that I love sunrise. To me, there is no better way to start the day than in the peacefulness of the early morn, as the birds awaken and begin to sing, hearing  the breeze rather than the rush of traffic, feeling the lingering coolness of the night as the day slowly brightens.

Sunrise over Taxco de Alarcon, MexicoThe variety of that early morning palette never ceases to amaze me. Vivid or pastel, cloud filled or mostly clear, the changes that occur between darkness and sun up are always a wonder to ponder.

Sunrise, Taxco de Alarcon, MexcioSunrise, Taxco de Alarcon, Mexcio Sunrise over Taxco de Alarcon, MexicoSunrise over Taxco de Alarcon, MexicoSunrise, Taxco de Alarcon, MexcioSunrise, Taxco, MexicoLiving at the top of a four story house on a hill overlooking the city gives me a great vantage point for watching the sun come up. Being in the mountains though is a different experience than being at the seashore.

At the shore, the sun rises over the horizon culminating in that glorious golden globe painting the sky and turning the sea to a golden rivulet surrounded by diamonds.

Sunrise, Cocoa Beach, FloridaIt comes up right on time, when the almanac says it should.That is not true of sunrise in the mountains.

In the mountains sunrise is slower. By the time the sun actually breaks the horizon, the actual sunrise is long past — maximum beauty occurs a good 10-15 minutes before that golden orb lifts above the mountain tops. When it finally crests, all that usually happens is a mighty brilliance that just makes an already bright and beautiful day complete.

Occasionally though the clouds and the light work out just right, like this day:

Which do you prefer? The slow awakening of a mountain sunrise or the instant gratification of the seashore?

How do you greet the sunrise where you are?

The Singing Rocks of Teloloapan

As the sun lay low on the horizon, we took a little side trip to a massive uplifting of gigantic stones that tower above the city. Some of the rocks in this area are known to “sing,” emitting a deep, resonant musical tone, like a large bell, when struck with another rock.

Singing Rocks, Parque de Campana, Teloloapan, MexicoThe locals have been coming here for centuries to make the rocks sing, and as with many such places of uniqueness, a legend has grown up to explain the phenomenon. Like Romeo and Juliette and so many other legends, this too has an element of unrequited love.

According to one version of the Aztec legend, on the death of King Azteca Ahuitzol, in order for his son, Tecampa , to succeed him, he had to conquer more land and bring more people into the empire. Tecampa conquered many peoples but when he came to Mexicapan, the chief, Texol, and his people battled with Tecampa for nearly a month.

Though Tecampa did not capture the city, he did succeed in capturing the springs that were the only water source, thus the people of Mexicapan were dying of thirst. Texol’s daughter, princess Na, who was always at his side, even in battle, feeling that the life of the warriors was more important than her own, volunteered to go and get water for the people, even at the cost her life.

With her maidens to accompany her, she set off for the pile of rocks where the  springs were located. When she arrived, she found a strong, young warrior, the king of the Aztecs, “contemplating the infinite.” He fell instantly in love with the beautiful princess, and granted her request for water for her people under the condition that she return the next day at sunrise where he would give her not water, but his heart.

She returned the next day and Tecampa asked her to go with him to the center of his empire near the mountain of Toluca, where together they would make his people happy.

But King Texol followed his daughter that day, and upon seeing her in the arms of his mortal enemy, his heart was broken and he angrily uttered a curse that the two young lovers be turned to stone. Immediately the two bodies were merged into one large stone, one seemingly holding the other, forever. Now when a stone is touched to the rock, the young lovers sing with tenderness.

Now named Parque de Tecampana, what used to be just a local attraction, where you scrambled up the mountainside on a dirt path to climb the rocks and make your own music, the city has decided to create a real tourist attraction, with gates, paved paths, a playground, an amphitheater, bathrooms, and even exercise area at the top (though really, just climbing the hill is exercise enough!)

 

Main Entrance, Parque de Tecampana, Teloloapan, MexicoLove this accessible entrance, don’t you? There is no way you could push a wheelchair up this ramp, nor the pathway above; I don’t think even my friend Shelley’s electric scooter would make it. But if you ask, the locals, they will direct you to a back entrance that is a fright to drive but takes you to a much more level path to the singing rocks.

Amphitheater, Parque de Campana, Teloloapan, MexicoAmidst all this “beautiful,” new construction, is an old shack. It seems that the land is owned by a young man whose family has lived there for generations. The city wanted to buy the land to make it into an official park, but he refused — it was his ancestral home. Finally they made him an offer he could not refuse. Let them improve the area into a park and they will build him a better home and let him be the caretaker. A win-win — he and his ancestors, who may just be related to Tecampa and Princess Na, can continue to make the rocks sing, at least for his lifetime.

FYI — I did some research on what might make the rocks sing and came across an article by someone with some scientific background that determined that it is a combination of the type of rock, crystalline diabase, and the fact that the ringing rocks are supported on points of other rocks thus allowing them to ring rather than thud. If you want more information on ringing rocks, which occur in various places around the world, see this article about Ringing Rocks Park, in Pennsylvania. Or follow this link to hear them ring. (They kind of sound like the bell the trash collectors ring in Mexico.)

Good Morning Sunshine

Without getting out of bed, I can watch the sunrise over the mountains. Usually the sky is clear and sunrise is just a matter of the sky fading from black, to indigo, to violet, fuchsia, coral, golden, and then the blaze of the sun over the blackness of the landscape. Lately though, we have had a lot of clouds, making for some spectacular sunrises.

For my friends back home who are discouraged because they  have not seen the sun for three weeks now, this one is for you!

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One last ocean sunrise

Edisto Beach, South Carolina

Well, the day had to come, one last day to walk the beach at sunrise before turning west and heading toward the heartland. I shall miss arriving in the darkness, a faint glow on the horizon, and watching it grow to a rosy glow that gets brighter and brighter until that golden orb peaks over the horizon and quickly explodes into a streak of color and a million diamonds sparkling on the waves.

Here I share with you the best of the last great sunrise over the ocean, at least for this trip.

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Only at the beach do you have this kind of unobstructed view of the magic moment the day begins. Ah what a glorious sight!

Go Fly a Kite

Since it is only a block or so away, I head to the beach almost every morning to watch the sunrise. I never know what the dawn will offer. Will the cool wind or threat of rain mean I have the beach virtually to myself or will there be a big audience for the sun’s debut? Will I find a calm sea and a sky washed in soft pastels or a churning surf under steely blue clouds? Will I see more pelicans, gulls, and sand runners or birds of the human variety?

 

This day the wind was blowing and the surf pounding — prefect for a little kite flying.

Look like fun?