Evening storm on the Great Plains

National Geographic has featured its 52 best images of the year – curated from 91 photographers, 107 stories, and 2,290,225 photographs. Without hesitation, Randy Olson’s photograph is my favorite one because it evokes the sublime, as famously defined by Edmund Burke in his 1757 treatise, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas on the Sublime and Beautiful:

Whatever is fitted in any sort to excite the ideas of pain and danger, that is to say, whatever is in any sort terrible, or is conversant about terrible objects, or operates in a manner analogous to terror, is a source of the sublime; that is, it is productive of the strongest emotion which the mind is capable of feeling. 

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Caption: As an evening storm lights up the sky near Wood River, Nebraska, about 413,000 sandhill cranes arrive to roost in the shallows of the Platte River.

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