Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Month of Sunrises - hiking the beach, Week One

A peloton of pelicans.  Pre-sunrise, March 28th.

In a previous post I introduced the 'Month of Sunrises' project with a discussion of the astronomy of sunrises and a look at the first three of the thirty-one consecutive sunrises I hoped to witness while hiking the beaches of Topsail Island, NC.  I'm going to present the remaining 28 sunrise views in four posts covering a week each. 

March 29th telephoto shot of a flat sunrise, typical of the situation where the air is warmer than the water.  Air was in the mid 60's this morning and water temperature of the coastal shelf was in the upper 50's 

The weather here in coastal NC has been unusually mild, even warm, this spring.  Winter's chill is long gone.  The coldest temperature I've encountered so far in this month-long string of hikes on the beach at the coldest time of day, has been in the low 50's F.

Sunrise of March 30th framed by the structure of the Sea View Fishing Pier.

When you propose to capture sunrise every morning, regardless of weather, you have to expect some cloudy, stormy days, where there won't be much of a view of the sun.  So far I've been pretty lucky with that, but a very windy storm blew through overnight of March 30-31.  The rain ended at 8AM and I went out and was able to get this shot of the wind-and-wave-whipped foamy surf with a bit of reflection of a dim, cloud-shrouded sun.

For the rest of the week I focused on the variety of sky color preceding the actual moment of sunrise.

God rays, April 1.  Although there was not a single cloud in the sky, there were clouds below the horizon from the departing storm of yesterday.  The 'streamers' of light and dark are caused by the shadows of these clouds and the sun beaming between them.
Denizens of the dawn, April 2nd.
Beach pavilion, snack bar and restrooms at the county park, sunrise on April 3rd.

No other time of the day combines quiet serenity with such a kaleidoscopic color display.  Sunrise is my favorite time of day.  Seeing a sunrise from a mountain top is a special experience, but with mountain trails you have to stop to catch the view.  Because a beach itself can stretch from horizon to horizon you can capture the joy from wherever you happen to be.  Freedom.

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