IN THE FIELD: Right Time, Wrong Place

Our house and property is situated on top of a ridge surrounded by a hardwood forest, so the views for sunsets are limited to scenics with trees silhouetted against the sky. Now that most of the leaves have fallen from the trees, the ridge across the valley is visible and adds another layer to the scene. Which can make for some stunning imagery. For those grand vistas, a trip a few miles down the road to our local orchard is in order.

Lately, the weather patterns have been unfavorable for sunsets no matter where the camera would be set up. The norm has been sunny and breezy with clouds during the day and cloudless skies near sunset. For the past few weeks, I have been wanting to get a good sunset or two with clouds illuminated by the setting sun, so I’ve been keeping an eye out for the opportunity.

During this time of the year when it is sunset time, it is also evening mealtime for our two canine companions. You can pretty much set your watch by our one puppy, as he comes with a ten-minute-before-dinner-alarm which sounds off with him sitting right in front of you and staring until you ask him the magic question, “You ready for dinner, puppy?”

While we were getting the puppy evening meal together the other night, I just happened to look out the kitchen window. Low and behold…clouds! And they were lit up as if they were on fire! I gathered up the camera, tripod and cable release and ran out to the back yard. After quickly setting everything up and firing off 16 shots in three minutes, all evidence of the sunset was gone. But I got the shots I wanted.

And the puppy serving time was only delayed by a few minutes. Although, I did get that look that said, “David why are you getting out the camera and tripod when we are due to eat 35 seconds from now?

For those of you that have pets, you know when that mealtime clock is ticking…


  1. November 21, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Oh! That is so beautiful!! Well worth the rush to capture this fleeting moment. Cute story about your puppies. I love dogs and know that stare…

    • November 22, 2011 at 3:23 pm

      Thanks Karen, the pups sure were giving me the look that night…”hey were ya goin?”

  2. November 21, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Hey, I found your blog surfing the photography tags. Just wanted to stop by and say that I like that photograph a lot. The trees do look as if they’re on fire with the color of the clouds behind them. It came out great. I also know exactly what you mean by the mealtime clock. My beagle does the same thing haha.


    • November 22, 2011 at 3:27 pm

      Hey thanks for stopping by Nate! I have been checking out your travels too…it was pretty amazing that the color only lasted for a few minutes and then it was dark! Our pups internal time clocks are right on time everyday.

  3. November 21, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    We have a shiz tzu named Suzie, and she has similar habits, so I know what you are talking about. That is one fantastic, stunning sunset image. Definite worth skipping your pup’s meal for a few minutes, and I bet she/he understands. Just show him/her the photo. 🙂

    • November 22, 2011 at 3:28 pm

      thanks Bob, both pups were looking at me with a dumbfounded look…ah David you are not finished getting our dinner ready…where ya going?

  4. November 21, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Two words for this…AWE SOME! 😉

  5. November 21, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    Such wonderful colours! 😀
    Luckily, dogs are very forgiving and rarely carry a grudge 😉 I think you’ll be fine 🙂 (and you could also give my thanks to the dogs for their patience. I appreciate them waiting for you to take the picture, so that you again could show us)

    • November 22, 2011 at 3:30 pm

      Thanks Anne, they understood…especially after I gave them a special treat…some chicken from the grill. Their favorite!!!

  6. November 21, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Wow! What wonderful colours: so deep and rich. Beautiful silhouette and sunset image.

    • November 22, 2011 at 3:31 pm

      Thanks Meanderer, it was a short lived spectacular show and I am so glad I looked out the window!

  7. November 21, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Beautiful fiery clouds. Glad you got the photos you wanted.

    • November 22, 2011 at 3:32 pm

      Thanks Fergie, I had been waiting for almost two weeks for the sky to have some color at sunset!

  8. November 21, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    The sky´s on fire! Great shot, beautiful colours. My daughter has a little kitten, that ignores me…until feeding time, then all of a sudden he´s my best buddy!

    • November 22, 2011 at 3:33 pm

      Ahh a food monger…we get that here too at times. (bribes) Thanks for the kudos Adrian!

  9. November 21, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    Ah, yes, I know these meal times… They are amazing. (But I have cat, not a dog, but they are same about meal times…) You did great shot dear David. Actually you are lucky to be in this beautiful landscape. You never wish to be between buildings like me. I can’t see sunset and sunrise moments from my home… I should go up the hills for this… The sunset time colours are amazing, and yours too. I loved it so much. And also I want to say, please can you check this link, dear David,

    Thank you, Blessing and Happiness for you all, with my love, nia

    • November 22, 2011 at 3:35 pm

      Thanks Nia, we can only see sunsets in late fall and winter when all the leaves are off of the trees so it is a real treat when we get a sunset! It’s funny how are pets know these things about meal times!

  10. Steve
    November 21, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    David, this almost looks like fire!! Love it! The colours are amazing, and with those great bare trees in silhouette. Nice shot!!

    • November 22, 2011 at 3:37 pm

      Thanks Steve, it didn’t last long but the skies sure did look like fire that night! And just like that, is was pitch black!

  11. November 21, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Wow, David, it looks like those trees are ablaze! I’m sure glad you looked up from the dog food in time to capture the moment.

    • November 22, 2011 at 3:38 pm

      Yes me too…it was short lived but quite the show! The pups didn’t seem to mind…they just had a bewildered look about them.

  12. November 22, 2011 at 2:36 am

    Stunning sunset picture David! My cat knows when it is 5pm and she definitely thinks I don’t because she comes to tell me wherever I am. My dog is more flexible but does tend to get a wounded look if I am a little late.

    • November 22, 2011 at 3:40 pm

      Thanks Jackie, isn’t amazing how they know…even if they are with us when we are out and about they still let you know!

  13. Nandini
    November 22, 2011 at 5:18 am

    I loved this shot! Such beautiful evening. 🙂

    • November 22, 2011 at 3:41 pm

      Thanks Nandini, it sure was pretty while it lasted!

  14. November 22, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Awesome image! When I first looked at it, I thought the forest was on fire! I guess I’m lucky because my dog is pretty flexible. He actually takes his dinner the same time as we do.

    • November 22, 2011 at 3:43 pm

      Thanks Gracie, it sure looked that way. In fact I have a few photos from a month or two ago where the clouds had that same look except the leaves were still on the trees so the effect is a little different.

  15. November 22, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    It never ceases to amaze me how stunning sunsets can be. I hope your dogs enjoyed their slightly delayed evening meal 🙂

    • November 22, 2011 at 3:45 pm

      I know what you mean…I can just stare at them until all hints of color are gone. The pups got a special thanks for waiting for me treat…chicken in addition to our regular food! Oh Boy!

  16. November 22, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    Glad you got some clouds for the sunset shot, David! And yes, pets know meal time. Especially so when we change our clocks/back forward. 🙂

    • November 22, 2011 at 3:46 pm

      Me too Katie, I had been waiting for weeks and I guess this made up for it. Just how do our pets know when we change the clocks???Hmmmm

  17. November 22, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Stunning image David! And I know the meal time stare down. I have 2 sets of eyes on me right now. Would write more but have to feed the puppies LOL

    • November 22, 2011 at 3:48 pm

      Thanks Vickie, I am not going to blink or let you out my sight until you get my meal ready…the clock is ticking here…

  18. November 23, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Ha ha I kept imagining your little dog being confused 😀 What a beautiful shot! Amazing, I love sunsets and this one is my favourite so far! 😀

    • November 30, 2011 at 8:40 am

      Yes they had that “look” on their faces. I love sunsets too and I am glad you like this one!

  19. November 24, 2011 at 12:35 am

    gorgeous colors David ! the forest seems to be on fire

    • November 30, 2011 at 8:43 am

      Thanks Abu, It sure did look as if it was on fire…even more so when captured in the camera!

  20. November 29, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Beautiful colors. Nice that the dog was patient for the process.

    I have difficulty taking sunset or sunrise photos because we have hills on both east and west of our home so I need to leave our yard to get better shots.

    • November 30, 2011 at 8:44 am

      Same here…we live on a ridge but there are others nearby that are higher plus all the trees around us hinder the views. Once in awhile we get lucky!

  21. December 3, 2011 at 12:59 am

    Lovely capture!!! Thanks for sharing.

    • December 3, 2011 at 11:01 am

      Thanks Mahesh and I’m glad you stopped by!

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