March 04, 2016

Horse 2087 - Day 4 - The Weather (March Photo Hunt)

One of the facts that conjurers an magicians exploit is that we essentially live inside a lie which has been constructed by our senses. For this reason, illusionists are able to misdirect people's attention and implant suggestions of things that were never there. The same is true for our own senses. Basically we sense things and then our brain reconstructs reality about a tenth of a second later. The most obvious example of this is the exploitation of persistence of vision where twenty-four still pictures are strung together by our brains to create moving pictures.
The other noteworthy thing is that lenses lie. Our eyes are able to bring things incredibly close despite having only a very short focal length. Colours are often manipulated in our brain and even the effects of parallax are played with, which is why we only see one picture of the world despite having two optical inputs.

When I saw today's prompt several days ago, I thought of lots of ideas around the idea of the subject matter of "the weather", including a trip to Sydney Observatory but all of these plans came to naught. Today's picture, is the exploitation of a lie; trying to make best use of the rather horrid little camera on my phone (I say horrid but really it's a piece of engineering genius).
The dominating colour in England, provided the sunshine is out, in the middle of summer is a glorious viridian. Across the border in the vanquished Principality of Wales and although it has a similar shade of green when the sun is out, the colour that I remember most is grey. In a place like California which is drenched in saffron, they like to peddle the myth that it is the "Golden State" but for most of Southern California, everything is washed on and bleached and blues aren't as blue as they should be and gold becomes lemon.

The colour temperatures in the city of Sydney (that I live in) are such that most of the time, everything does appear washed out and bleached like California but with the exception that skies are bluer because we're further south than SoCal is north. What Sydney does do excellently though, is sunrises and sunsets. Sydney's sunsets especially are gorgeous and we don't think that Sydneysiders realise how blessed we are to see the myriad of colours lazily dribbled across the sky, every evening from September to May. Only artists with a hyper real set of colours are able to begin to paint with the same palette that the sky uses each an every evening, for even the best cameras can not.
Even on a camera which has a lens which is literally smaller than my fingernail, I am able to get neat things like lens flare but I still can not approach the level of loveliness that my eyes already give me (and I am red-green colourblind). The camera lies to you because it as an unthinking and undeceiving machine, can only give you the objective view of what its single limited sense can produce.
The truth is that Sydney's weather spews forth evening after evening after evening of sheer gorgeousness and beauty that it is only after Sydneysiders leave the confines of this conurbation of four millions that we realise what we have here.

The weather, the generator of those skies, is actually pretty predictable in Sydney. Sydney's weather is the result of either a high pressure or low pressure system wandering eastwards across the continent of Australia and depending on the relative position of those pressure systems, winds either blow from the continent dry, or from the oceans moist. Occasionally a tropical cyclone will meander south and turn into a rain depression but that's it. The changing of the seasons only really changes the operative parts of weather such as dew points and condensation temperature but other than that, the weather in winter works by the same mechanics as it does in summer, in Sydney.
This photograph could have been taken in any of the four seasons but the time would have been different. Except for the long tendrils of sunset, the view an hour or so before the sun thinks about going away, is practically the same. I honestly think that someone would be hard pressed to tell the difference between a 24° day on July 7 or December 18 at the point where the sun hangs at exactly the same point in the sky.

Many of us who are stuck in traffic which stretches on for miles, are often too grumpy to look the 30° upwards to see the masterpiece being painted for us, writ large each and every evening across the vast canvas of the skies. People in Sydney who's job it is to produce nothing expect moving numbers around and extracting profits because the value of housing went up again, will often spend vast sums of money to buy views of the harbour and then waste the effort by not looking at it. In Sydney, a house which is 55km away from the CBD and costs a tenth of some of those properties, still has that fantastic masterpiece, forever changing and forever new, rolled across the easel of the sky, for free.

The grand list can be found here:
This is how to play along:

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