Boulder Beach sunrise

A stunning location.

Acadia is well-known for sunrise and sunset views. Indeed, many people vie for reservations to drive up Cadillac Mountain for sunrise, purportedly one of the earliest sunrise views in the U.S. because of its elevation and far-eastern position in the timezone. But for the same reason, sunrise here is remarkably early: every day this week it has been between 4:50am and 4:57am, and that is later than it was on the summer solstice a few weeks ago. I am not interested in sunrise from the peak – indeed, I find it far more interesting to photograph scenery illuminated by the golden rays of the sun than to photograph the sun itself. After some reading, I learned that Boulder Beach, on the eastern shore, is a great location. It’s also only 10 minutes drive from my hotel in Bar Harbor.

I’m an early riser. Still, when the alarm went off at 4:00am this morning, it was tough to drag myself out of bed and prepare for the day. Out in the parking lot I fired up my JetBoil camp stove to boil water for tea – no place is open this early! – and headed south in the growing twilight toward Otter Cliffs. I parked at a nearby picnic area and walked over to the beach, with 15 minutes to spare before sunrise, only to find three other tripod-rigged photographers already on scene. It was none other than John Putnam, of JK Photography, whom I’d met a couple of days ago in his gallery over in Southwest Harbor. He was out here with two clients, sharing his wisdom and tips for sunrise photography. I’d seen his photograph of sunrise at this spot, back in the gallery, and it is awe-inspiring.

I explored a few different shot locations and exposures. The sun rose through some clouds, so the cliffs illuminated a bit late, and the clouds behind them never quite lit up. But it was a fine morning and I’m pleased with the result. Wish I could try again and again. See the photo gallery for more.

Otter Cliffs from Boulder Beach at sunrise; Acadia National Park.

After the sunrise had faded, I walked closer to the cliffs to find a seal swimming toward me, curious; it bobbed for a moment, then dove away to find its breakfast.

Ok, now it’s 6:00am. It’s starting to rain. What else will the day bring?

Summer solstice

Longest day of the year?

PhotoPills screenshot showing time/date for equinoxes and solstices.

Today is the summer solstice (in the northern hemisphere). More precisely, the solstice occurred at 5:15am here in the Eastern timezone. The summer solstice is the moment at which the sun has ‘traveled’ to its northernmost latitude, in its annual cycle of apparent movement to the north in summer and to the south in winter. (It’s a great day for those of us with solar panels, because it means we’re getting hours of sunlight!) Read on.

Continue reading “Summer solstice”

Happy new year!

Time to head home.

After two weeks with family here in Kiawah Island in South Carolina, it’s time to head home. We’ve had beautiful weather, allowing time to explore the sands and lagoons of this beautiful island. I’ve added to the gallery more photos of birds and scenery. It was foggy on the beach at sunrise this morning, so I’ll share this photo from Christmas morning.

Christmas Sunrise at Kiawah.

Foggy morning

Fog at sunrise.

Kiawah Island has been sunny and warm every day, but one consequence is the dense fog that settled over the island this morning. I was out on the beach at sunrise, but it was invisible. After a long walk I found driftwood to provide some foreground interest, just as a jogger passed by.

Driftwood on the Kiawah beach.

South Carolina

From the mountains to the sea.

From the mountains of Switzerland to the beaches of South Carolina… we are here at Kiawah Island for two weeks. On the first morning I enjoyed sunrise on the beach… and in the afternoon, some bird watching near the wetlands of Cinder Creek.

A red-shouldered hawk near Cinder Creek, Kiawah.

Alpine sunrise

A grand view from a grand spot.

I returned to my morning walking route, climbing through the streets and stairs of Zurich to the viewpoint atop Zurichberg. Today, I arrived not long after sunrise; with fewer clouds, the sun shone through to the Zurich valley. Indeed, it seemed the orange glow of the rising sun was bouncing off the cloud deck above, illuminating the light fog hovering over the lake Zurichsee.

Sunrise view from the Zurichberg viewpoint, Zurich.

Zooming in to the Alps spread across the horizon, we can see the morning sun illuminating the Eiger and its neighbors.

The Eiger is the dark triangle just left of center.

Earlier, I paused along Spyristrasse at a point where I knew one of the multi-story condo buildings hosted an impressive sight: a three-story cat staircase, mounted outside the building, allowing the cat to come and go from its residential balcony. Today, for the first time ever, I saw a cat sitting atop the stairs, surveying its territory and guarding the homestead from all comers.

A cat rests at the top of a three-story cat staircase on the outside of a condo building; Spyristrasse, Zurich.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

Morning sun

Sunshine and fresh snow brings happiness.

On a morning like today, with an overnight snowfall coating the landscape in fresh powder, and the rising sun bringing the day’s first glow to the trees on the opposite side of the river, it’s hard not to be grateful for the beautiful world in which we live. Happy new year!

Another beautiful sunrise

Another beautiful sunrise from Zürichberg.

December 15 – Another beautiful morning in Zurich.  I’ve added these five photos to the sunrise gallery from earlier this week.

Sunrise view of the Alps from Zürichberg.

Trugberg, Mönch, Eiger, and Jungfrau, as seen from Zürichberg at sunrise.
Trugberg, Mönch, Eiger, and Jungfrau, as seen from Zürichberg at sunrise.

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Finsteraarhorn, Lauteraarhorn, Schreckhorn, and Wetterhorn, as seen from Zürichberg at sunrise.

Sunrise view of the Alps from Zürichberg.Sunrise view of the Alps from Zürichberg.

Alpine sunrise

A spectacular sunrise over Zürich.

Every morning I climb Zürich’s steep strasse and steig until I reach the clear ridgeline of the Zürichberg hilltop, with its broad view across the city and Zürichsee lake to the Alps.  Some days I am enveloped in the valley fog common this time of year.  Other days the clouds grudgingly give me glimpses of the Alps beyond the valley.  Today, finally, I was treated to a spectacular sunrise, with a crystal-clear view of the Alps and a sky painted with deep red sunlight.  I picked just five photos for the (must-see!) gallery, and share only one below.

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