Smoky Southwest Sunset
A fine afternoon of driving, hiking, picnic-eating, and wildlife observation with my kids concluded with one of the more peculiar sunsets I've seen in awhile, seen from high up the west slope of Mount Scott. Even though 2007 had been a wet year, a fire somewhere on Fort Sill property spread smoke through the late-day skies of the Wichita Mountains National Wildlide Refuge. Wisps and ribbons of the smoke slowly swayed across the sky over southwestern Oklahoma, visually flavoring the sunset scene like a delicious barbecue sauce. Toward the end (below), the edges of the sun appeared to flatten against the horizon -- a common illusion caused by refraction of the light in the distant, lower atmosphere. Another illusion comes from the first photo, where the sun appears to descend through the smoke instead of past it.
2 WNW Medicine Park OK (17 Nov 7), looking WSW