lunes, 1 de octubre de 2007

Harvest lights

In Hawaii when it's time to harvest sugar cane, very often the first step is to strike a match. Sugar cane fires burn away dry dead leaves while leaving water-rich stalks unharmed--and nicely exposed for chopping. Such a fire took place yesterday in Maui and Rob Ratkowski woke up at 4 o'clock in the morning to photograph it:

The billowing cloud he recorded is both an earthy and astronomical thing of beauty. The upper reaches of the cloud are made of water vapor steaming out of overheated stalks. This vapor "rises high to catch the silvery light of the Harvest Moon," explains Ratkowski. "The smoky base, on the other hand, comes from burning leaves and reflects the red light of the underlying fire." Harvest light in all its forms is amazing stuff indeed.

More images 1 and 2