Sunsets are such a universally intriguing phenomena. Historically, sailors used the characteristics of sunsets to anticipate the coming weather. Scientists explain the way the light is broken up at the horizon, spilling brilliant colors across the landscape or water. Artists and writers find inspiration, and many others sense the grand design in the often spectacular displays.
I see them much as I see the Autumn: the end of one thing, and the promise of something new to follow. We can’t choose the quality of any given sunset – each one, like each day, is an individual gift.
When we were in Honolulu, around sunset we usually sat at our hotel facing the ocean, and we got varied results. Most evenings, we saw subdued pinks and blues from behind scattered clouds, with boats or hang gliders silhouetted in front of them.
Then one night, we had a fabulous display over the hotel’s lagoon. Amazingly, most of the water still appeared blue, but the sky was ablaze.
Always looking for a photo op, the last time we were in San Francisco, I stood out on a wharf, hoping to get a fabulous silhouette of the Golden Gate bridge against a wonderful palette of sunset colors. I was optimistic as I caught a gull in the sky just before sundown, and I set up my shot of the bridge.
Alas, I forgot I was in San Francisco. The sun went down onto the Pacific in the West, behind a huge bank of clouds. My planned silhouette was not to be.
But then I turned the other way and looked back toward the city. Over Alcatraz, I caught this pelican with the tinges of purple on the horizon, and the skyline with the evening shadows just beginning.
As I looked across the bay to Marin County, the sun set further and I was rewarded with some deeper hues.
I guess sometimes when we don’t get what we’re looking for, we’re just looking in the wrong direction.
This post is in response to a weekly Travel Theme challenge from Ailsa at Wheresmybackpack. Her theme for this week is Sunsets.