Flowers and birds, birds and flowers … and maybe a car or a plow. The Goldfinch, in summer, are brilliant yellow and even in the middle of a drought, we had bushels of pink roses. And of course, we had red skies and pink skies. Not too many in yellow, though.
Sunrise, Sunset by Rich Paschall
If you have stopped by SERENDIPITY even just occasionally, you will have noticed a wealth of sunrise and sunset pictures. Marilyn and Garry Armstrong have captured countless images for us and often share some spectacular photo displays. I have even swiped a few over the years to illustrate certain stories and articles. I am about to do it again.
You see? When no one was looking, I snuck into the library, borrowed some pictures, and did not tell the librarian. There are so many and I only wanted a few. Do you think they will notice? Perhaps. They have spotted my thievery before. But why should I upload new ones when theirs are so much better?
One thing is clear to me after so many years of gazing at the sky. I never get tired of the sunrise and the sunset. No two are alike and many are just spectacular creations of light and color.
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze.
When you get older, you will realize one day that the number of sunrises left for you to see are fewer than the ones you’ve already seen. You understand that missing so many was unfortunate. You should take whatever chances you have to see more of them. In the universe, there may be an endless number, but in our own lives, the number is finite, but unknown.
Since I am not really a morning person, I am more likely to catch the sunset than the sunrise. I never got tired of walking out of the cargo building at O’Hare to see the sunset over the field. Sometimes a plane would oblige me and take off into the sun. Now we do not go there so I am glad I caught so many last year. I should make a plan to catch more from the nearby park.
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears
When Marilyn recently posted a gallery of sunset pictures taken by Garry and herself, I thought of a touching scene from Fiddler on the Roof. Late in the first act, Tevye and Golde reflect on the swiftly passing years as they observe the wedding of their oldest child. If you don’t know the song from the award-winning musical, we are happy to share it before another sunset goes by.
See also: “Evening’s Golden Hour,” By Marilyn Armstrong, SERENDIPITY, August 30, 2020.
“If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride … ” – Old Proverb
I do not know what a wish looks like, though I think it might look like a rising sun over a glassy harbor. Beggar that I am, I wish for a horse to ride and one more. Gentle, well-schooled mounts so Garry and I can ride together again. And, I wish all of us the best life can give us — many sunrises on the shores of bright summer days.
Dawn in Rockport. If pictures look familiar, Rockport, Massachusetts is one of the most photographed locations in the U.S. Not only is it highly photogenic, but it is also an artist’s colony.
It was July 4th and I set the alarm for 4 am. It was still fully dark, but luckily, the place we were staying was across the street from the harbor. No hiking was involved, Having done this before, I had my clothing, camera, and anything else I thought I might need already set out. I dressed in just a few minutes and got moving. By now, I knew I needed long sleeves, pants, and socks. July in Massachusetts is overwhelmed by mosquitoes. The only thing that makes it bearable is a breeze of at least six or seven miles per hour.
No breeze. Not even a hint. I knew I was going to be breakfast for a lot of skeeters.
I was not the only one awake. The fishermen were rigging their boats. They would be gone by the time “normal” people opened their eyes. They seemed immune to the biting menaces — or maybe they were counting on moving out to the Atlantic quickly and leaving the mosquitoes behind.
Dawn on Ogunquit beach. It was about 4:30 in the morning when I dragged my body from the bed, threw some clothing on including long sleeves, long pants, and socks. Not because it was so cold. It was a warm September, but I had already discovered that the mosquitoes are voracious in those early hours.
At first, the beach was completely empty, but gradually as it got closer to daylight, there were runners and strollers. Couples hand-in-hand … but apparently only one photographer. Everyone else stayed close to the incoming tide and many walked in the water.
I was looking for a wider view, so I stayed back. The farther you are from the water, the worse the mosquitoes become. I think I may have been the only “live one” on the scene.
It’s a square New Year, my friends. Even though these pictures look more or less identical to ones I took before Christmas, this is a new dawn. A different sunrise with fresh early light. The problem is that pictures taken from my deck tend to look the same, depending on the time of year.
In the summer is all leaves and you really can’t see much beyond the fence rail and the bird feeders. In the winter, after the leaves have fallen, you see the same trees against the lighter sky. It doesn’t matter whether I take the picture from the kitchen, dining room, or bedroom. Same woods. Same trees. And remarkably, an almost identical sky. These seem to be our local dawn color combo.
One day I’ll get something different, but so far, unless it’s raining, cloudy, or snowing, this is pretty much it. No matter how hard I try, I can’t come up with something unique. Same old sky. Same colors. Same trees. But isn’t it lovely?
I am often up around dawn, but I rarely take pictures. Today, though, the sky was alight with a glorious bright dawn. Then, a few hours later, I got more birds.
Hope you enjoyed your holidays.
Other than from the direction, you can’t tell if the sun is coming up or setting. I’ve done all the checking I can and in fact, the light is the same. It depends on the season of the year, but the coloring is identical otherwise.
And yet we are fascinated by the coming and going of the sun. Even when I was a child, I used to stand outside and watch the sky, sometimes for a full hour from late afternoon until final darkness, watching the delicate changes in the sky and the clouds and the way the light filtered through the trees.
I have not yet lost my wonder.
It was dawn on the day of the Vernal Equinox and I had not closed the shades. I usually do, but I forgot. When I woke up, it looked as if the room was on fire. The blue sky turned deep red and violet before finally, the sun came up. It was the most amazing sunrise I’ve ever seen. My friend called me to ask: “Did you see that sunrise this morning? It was amazing!”
And I keep a camera in the bedroom, just for this kind of event. I can only get these amazing sunrises before the leaves come out. After that, the trees hide the sky.
When you grow up in any of the coastal states in the U.S., “going to the beach” is at the top of your summertime list from as soon as you are old enough to tiptoe into the ocean, until you get serious about work and forget about having fun for the next couple of decades.
It’s not that you don’t go to visit the shore. We all do that, even in the middle of the winter, to see the gulls fly backward against the incoming winds, early enough to watch the haze burn off along the shoreline … and the best place to think quietly without any interruption.
I actually prefer the coast in the winter. It’s relatively empty, at least of people. The sky is a great blue bowl overhead … and when the wind comes in, the seagulls really do fly backward until they give up and sit in the water until the winds die off.
Oh boy. Birds! I’m pretty sure some of these pictures have a lot more than four. A few of the birds have more than four.
And a sunrise because … well … everyone needs a sunrise, right?
I used to long for many things. Later, I did most of them. Now they are memories. No need for longing.
These past few years have been difficult. For once, not because of illness of dire poverty, but because the world tipped over and I’ve been clinging to the edges.
In the yearning department, I’ll settle for simple things. Warm weather. Bright skies. This morning, very early — just before five — the sun was rising as the moon was finishing her travels across the night sky.
The moon longed for me. She told me so.
At least, I believe that is what she said. Sometimes, when the moon speaks, her language is strange and not entirely clear.