The Fires of Mordor

We are under partly cloudy skies today here in Pasadena. All day long, the blue sky has been brilliant and beautiful. The few clouds that dot the sky are small and fluffy, blown at incredible speeds by the high altitude winds, and illuminated to a magnificently bright white by the sun.
About 20 minutes ago, the sun began to set, and I watched as it put silver linings behind cloud after cloud as it sank into the west. Shortly after the horizon took it away for another day, the sun did an amazing thing: it illuminated the only cloud in the sky, a monstrous one — several thousand feet cross, at least — which hung over my house. The cloud acted as a giant reflector, bouncing yellow, than orange, then red light down upon my neighborhood.
At first, the yellow light was beautiful, bringing out a brilliance in the lawns and leaves seldom seen in winter. Then, the orange light became a little creepy, casting the same muted color as sunlight filtered through the smoke of a brushfire.
When the light turned red, though, it was positively scary. The red glow that it washed over the Earth was straight out of the fires of Mount Doom.
As the light turned from orange to red, my mom called me, and asked me if it looked like the world was coming to an end over my house, too. I laughed, and told her that it did.
Then a Ring Wraith knocked on my door, and I politely hung up the phone.

43 thoughts on “The Fires of Mordor”

  1. Good lord-I might be first!
    And Wil, the same thing happens in Western Canada too-where the sky is wide and clouds are often rare, and the sun goes straight to the horizon.
    Merry christmas! Tell us about it, OK-your story last year, with the island of misfit toys was wonderful.
    Not to hold you up to a standard or anything.

  2. I saw that on the news (and out my window) tonight as well…impressive sight. Weird how you know a cloud isn’t going to hurt you, but it’s still awe-inspiring and rather daunting.
    Merry Christmas and Happy Wednesday to all this week!

  3. Wow! That sounds beautiful. Sometimes the sky is illuminated with incredible colors during Sunsets.
    Then again it could just be the coming of the Apocalypse or a higher force signaling you that you should have started work on your book a little sooner to capitalize on Christmas sales.
    I’ve been wrong before though.

  4. What did the Ring Wraith want? He wasn’t looking for me, I hope. And if he did, I hope you didn’t tell him that I’m back in the Bay Area … whoops! I shouldn’t have said that.

  5. What is this sun thing you speak of?
    Here in Ingerland the sun sets at 1530ish hrs today having only risen at nine. You just can’t get the burning balls of Hydrogen these days.
    Note to all travellers: 52 degrees north suck ass. The co-ordinates, not the bar. Just so i don’t get sued. It’s cold.
    On a related topic, I live in what Tolkein would later base the Shire on. Do I get some Nerd points for that?
    Also Tolkein used to live where my nan lives, wait for it, near Sare Hole Mill.
    Anagrams anyone?
    TTT review please.
    This is possibly my worst post…Ever.

  6. Wil.. you rule! I laughed at the last sentence of that post and then had to read it to my bf as he plays Tony Hawk-4 (or Crack-4 as he calls it).
    Merry Christmas! Hope you have a nice one with your family :-)

  7. I just love it when the HMIC waxes poetic. I wish I could have seen that sunset, it sounds fantastic. Here its raining, cold and dreary, the best kind of snuggling weather ever. Its kind of fitting that I read that today, since I went to see The Two Towers yesterday. I think I’ve rambled on long enough now. BuhBye.

  8. A ring wraith knocked on your door. Farking brilliant man! :)
    That’s seriously cool though, the whole yellow-orange-red sky. But tomorrow’s gonna be a beautiful day there. There’s a saying, i don’t know if you might’ve heard it
    “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in morn, sailors forewarned.”
    So tomorrow will be a bright, calm day if old wivestales hold true.
    Anyways, i’m out.
    Merry Christmas All.

  9. I’m in the north east and we had an oddly beautiful sunset today, too. I put it down as a tribute to Joe Strummer, but I’ve been lost in the world of The Clash all day.

  10. loved the posters at fark wil..thanks for posting em…
    gonna pass them on to my boss, who also happens to be a big fan of star trek…
    i know he’ll love em…

  11. I also live in Pasadena, and Wil doesn’t quite do the sky today justice. I went outside, too, and wish I’d brought a sweatshirt.

  12. >I also live in Pasadena, and Wil doesn’t quite do >the sky today justice. I went outside, too, and >wish I’d brought a sweatshirt.
    Yeah, I know.
    Did my best, though.
    Feel free to give it a shot, if you’d like.

  13. EnglishBen, don’t remind me! Right now I’m about 10 degrees further south, and just getting used to the concept of “daytime” again. It’s really bad when 3:30 PM looks like 11:30 PM… Mind you, summer makes up for it.
    Is the Shire Oxfordshire? I’ve always wondered… It’s certainly the Little Kingdom. I’ve *gotta* get nerd-points for reading “Farmer Giles of Ham” and laughing at the Latin jokes.

  14. In Pittsburgh in the Autumn, when the clouds are puffy and the humidity is low wnough that everything is crisp, a sunset will often cast gorgeous persimmon colors onto the underside of those clouds, leaving a violet sky beyond.
    Then Winter comes and everything is grey for five or six months.

  15. You may have avoided the Ring Wraith, but did you ever catch Gollum rummaging through your trash or digging up your flowerbed yet? Gotta hand it to him, the little bastard’s persistent.

  16. The small town I live in was, disturbingly, surrounded by forest fires earlier this year. Well, 3 sides anyway. Got within 15 miles or so. We had one day where the smoke was bad and filtering the light and it was REALLY eerie, and quite scary given we were on evacuation alert.

  17. Reminds me of a sunset I watched during my trip to Hawaii last year around this time. The sky was full of broken whispy clouds illuminated with deep reds and oranges. Made it look like the sky was on fire. Beautiful.
    Can’t wait to hear your review of TTT. Personally, I think I liked it better than FOTR.

  18. Sounds cool….weird, but cool.
    I probably would’ve thought about LoTR, too, if I had seen it….but alas, I am here on the east coast and saw nothing interesting.
    Have a very Merry Christmas!

  19. Wow, I haven’t seen a sky like that in years.
    One the upside however, the doctors say I’m getting much better, and maybe someday soon they’ll let me out for a bit. 😉
    Until then, at least I have WWDN, thanks Wil.
    Merry Christmas Everyone

  20. “Then a Ring Wraith knocked on my door, and I politely hung up the phone.”
    I can just see it now…
    A rider dressed in black tethers a horse to the fire hydrant, walks to the front door of Wil’s house. Rider reaches out slowly and rings the door bell. WIL opens the door.
    WIL (politely): May I help you?
    RING WRAITH (ala AvonLady): Mordor calling! Good afternoon, sir, may I interest you in buying our new line, UltimateEvil(tm)? Gain eternal life simply by surrending your soul to Sauron!
    WIL: No. No, thanks anyway.
    RW (still chirpily): Then, sir, you wouldn’t happen to have a… (hungrily) RING, would you…?
    WIL (annoyed): GO. AWAY. NOW.
    Whaddya think, sirs?? 😉

  21. You should come to Oregon for a vacation. Watch the sun set in a decent looking yellow… not too polluted yet! Seriously though, a nice vacation is to the beach in Oregon during May or June (pref. when not raining… hmmm)

  22. I just thought that I’d send in a quick post – I absolutely love the website, Wil, and hope that you and your family have a wonderful holiday season! And enjoy the warm weather – we’re expecting about a foot of snow up here in New Hampshire! : ) And now I’m off to see The Two Towers again!

  23. Heh. I’d say you’ve seen FOTR too many times but not only has it been said, but it would be a case of the pot calling the kettle black.
    I saw TTT last Tuesday at Midnight, and if that doesn’t give me geek points then the fact that I walked to and from the movies (35 minutes each way) should fufill my quota. Having work the next morning was difficult, but I really needed to see my precioussss….
    Oh no, that movie has gripped my soul…

  24. That was a great snippet of writing, Wil. I really enjoyed that. The Ring Wraiths have been unusually active lately… they are coming for The One Ring… You are not the Bearer, are you?

  25. You should see the sunset in Guam. And the water too. Especially the sunset over the ocean. It’s so beautiful the way the ocean reflects the light..
    When Guam is back up and running after that typhoon maybe you should go visit.

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