solstice sunset

Solstice Sunset 2016Sunset over Alameda Slough, June 20, 2016

The longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, June solstice, was the bane of my childhood. I would weep as I lay in bed with the sun still shining in the window overwhelmed with the injustice of bedtime in daylight. In 2016 we enjoy a rare cosmic coincidence of the full moon rising on the exact day of the June solstice, the first time in almost 70 years. I plan my day to stand at attention on the deck of our boat in Alameda to be able to observe the sunset in the West,…then turn to capture the image of the full moon rising, rosy-tinged to the East. This coinciding moon is the Strawberry or Rose Moon. I hope to capture that dusty rose of the rising moon, that blushes only on the rising horizon. We have just returned from a week in Mexico so jet-lag has me resting in the stateroom as the sun still lingers above the horizon at 8pm, setting at 8:35pm (in 2017 the sunset will be at a record setting 9:34 pm). I photograph the dramatic deep-wash of warm colors in the gathering spectrum that blushes its beauty on this longest day of the year. I wake Greg and insist that he come and see the show. As I turn to face East and capture the rising full moon, fog foils my plan as it pools in misty white bands along that horizon. I fight the desire for sleep, disappointed as the moon finally appears around 9:30pm well above the horizon where it would have glowed rosy reflecting the sunset. It looms white and bright winking its clever avoidance. I go to bed disappointed, yet consoled by the spectacular spectral display of Solstice sunset. It is enough for my beauty quotient for the week.

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