Morning Dallashenge – maybe a couple days early

I am not a morning person and when my alarm went off at 5:15 it took more than a little effort to drag myself out and about. I was worried about the weather, but at the train station I saw stars glinting here and there through the thick city night sky soup and I knew it was cloudless. But as I waited for the train, I saw the telltale glow in the east which quickly grew into the start of a salmon-colored dawn and I began to think I was not going to make it in time.

The train arrived and I climbed aboard, wedging myself in with the morning’s crop of sleepy commuting workers, having to make room for my backpack filled with a camera and my folding tripod across my lap.

It was April 19, the morning Dallashenge. I first came across this concept well over a year ago, when I read about Manhattanhenge – the day that the setting (or rising) sun lines up with the east-west street canyons of central New York. In a city (like Chicago) where the streets run exactly along the points of the compass, the henge date is on the spring and fall equinox – but in cities like New York (or Dallas) where the downtown street grid, for geologic or historical reasons, is a few degrees off-kilter, the dates will fall somewhere else.

Using the very useful website, suncalc.net, I was able to calculate the henge dates for Dallas – an evening henge falls on February 15, and a morning henge on April 19 – at about ten minutes to seven.

In February of 2012, I went downtown in the evening and took some shots of the henge. It was sort of fun. Now I wanted to do a morning “henge” and Friday, April 19th was on its way. For a long time I worked on finding a suitable perch where I could look down the long downtown streets. I thought about the parking garage and the jail, but one day I discovered that there was a walkway along the infamous triple underpass in Dealey Plaza that had a great view down main street.

After some test shots I was ready.

Despite my worries I made it down there in time. I set up my tripod and waited while the sky grew lighter and lighter. I wondered if my calculations were correct. Was I at the right place at the right time?

I was and I wasn’t. The sun did peek up right down main, but before the entire disk came up over the asphalt it had moved off to the side. I think a better photograph might come a couple days later, when the whole disk of the sun will appear over the dead center of the street.

So, maybe Sunday. I’m not sure if I can get up that early on a weekend morning… but we’ll see.

The morning Dallashenge from the Triple Underpass in Dealy Plaza. Maybe a couple days early.

The morning Dallashenge from the Triple Underpass in Dealy Plaza. Maybe a couple days early.

Morning Dallashenge from the Triple Underpass in Dealy Plaza.

Morning Dallashenge from the Triple Underpass in Dealy Plaza.

 

5 responses to “Morning Dallashenge – maybe a couple days early

  1. Interesting that the sun was coming up at an angle, who would’ve thought to factor that in? I’m looking forward to seeing the Sunday photos, don’t sleep in! I hope the weather is fine and you might be lucky with no cars on the street 🙂

  2. I’ve never heard of henge dates before – thanks! Maybe thats something I can look into where I’m staying 🙂 beautiful pictures! Hope youre able to get up early should you choose to try again! 😉

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