Saturday, February 23, 2013

Red cliffs in the winter sunset

At this time of the year, I don't usually drive across in the vicinity of Châtelus, on the other side of the Bourne. But I went across there a few days ago for the combined luncheon for the senior citizens of our three neighboring villages: Châtelus, Choranche and Presles. The food (prepared by a restaurant in the nearby village of Saint-Romans) was excellent, but I was dismayed to find that conversation was ruled out through the presence of a DJ who did his best to make everybody dance and sing. On the way home, I was able to take a lovely photo of the cliffs above Choranche in the direction of Presles.

[Click to enlarge]


  1. I love the light in the photo :-)

  2. If the light from the setting sun is reddish when it strikes the cliffs above Choranche, this must be due to a refraction process brought about by moisture in the air down in the vicinity of the River Isère. We're seeing, as it were, the red arc of a rainbow, whereas the other colors stream through the sky up above the clifftops, without impinging upon anything that might reveal their presence. Some sections of the limestone cliffs are surely displaying their genuine reddish color, caused by the presence of ferrous oxides in the rock. On the lower slopes, it's possible, too, that the reddish vegetation is in fact displaying its normal hue at this time of the year. The snow by the roadside in the foreground reveals what the global scene would look like if everything were bathed in normal daylight. I must reread Unweaving the Rainbow by Richard Dawkins to see if my explanations make sense.