by Donald Yadusky
September 2001

From my window I can see the Huachuca Mountains in southern Arizona. (Pronounced Wa chew ka) I love to watch the mountains at sunrise. At first the mountains are a black silhouette against a light blue sky, then over the course of just a minute or two a dramatic light and color show occurs. Slowly the black becomes dark purple shadows and the mountains turn a brilliant glowing red. I can see why the mountains in El Paso, New Mexico were named the Sangria De Christo Mountains, (the blood of Christ) because the mountains are blood red with dark purple shadows. Shortly the red changes to a brilliant orange and shadows turn dark blue. Then the orange becomes yellow and the shadows fade as the green vegetation becomes visible. Finally as the light becomes white light the red clay of the mountains and the green of the vegetation is fully revealed.

The color changes are the same as the colors of the rainbow in a predictable order. Many days even the sky itself has a display of rainbow colors, with blue-purple next to the mountains fading to light pink then yellow as the sky lightens in the dawn. If it is cloudy I am treated to a brilliant display of colors in the clouds. Bright red clouds, white clouds, and blue sky that look like the American flag in the sky.

When outdoors in southern Arizona you can see the horizon for one hundred eighty degrees in front of you, and you get the feeling of being surrounded or immersed in nature. This is an event that cannot be underestimated if you come from a big city, or "concrete jungle". If the mountains are foggy, at sunrise they look as if they are on fire with both the mountain and the fog a bright red.

With a morning greeting of such a palette of color in the sky, and the wonderful light and color show on the mountains at dawn, is it any wonder you feel glad to be alive when you wake up in southern Arizona?

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