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More Pink Snow

20 Jan 2014, 07:01 UTC
More Pink Snow
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

We get an occasional dusting of snow here in lower Arizona. The New River Mountains, about 15 km (10 miles) northeast of us, at an elevation of 1500 meters (5000 feet), get some snow at least a few times every Winter. It never lasts more than a day or two, but when it happens, it’s a beautiful visual effect.
I wrote about “pink snow” in a previous post, waxing philosophical about the meaning of “color.” That’s hard to avoid when you talk about sensory perception, which is a highly subjective phenomenon. I’ll try to keep it less philosophical this time. If you compare the photo above with my 16 April 2012 post, you’ll see there are some definite differences in color balance and contrast. Both photos were taken at sunset, but under different atmospheric conditions (overcast in the above photo vs. clear on 16 April 2012). Of course, earlier in the day the snow appeared its typical bright white.
In both cases, the characteristic reddening of the landscape near sunset renders some striking shifts in hue: the white snow becomes pink, the green vegetated hills become brown, and the overcast sky takes on an eerie shade that I didn’t really ...

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