Sahara SunRise

(Editor’s note: Opening paragraph applicably repeated from my prior post):

I did not visit the Sahara Desert, though the title above may imply it. But parts of that ecosystem floated across the Atlantic Ocean in June of 2020 as a “dust storm.”

My first pre-dawn expedition to the beach in over a year came with curiousity toward the effect of this Sahara phenomenon. Sunlight passing through the minerals in the airborne particulate caused exceptional coloration on 27 June, which I share below.

My prior post displayed the complementary images of the previous evening’s Sahara Sunset.

Pre-dawn glow

Alt: June 27, 2020, pre-dawn glowing
Caption: June 27, 2020, pre-dawn glowing

Four minutes later, the orb is up, silhouetting the pier five miles distant. Other beings have arisen, including the early birds.

Alt: June 27, 2020, the orb is up
Caption: June 27, 2020, the orb is up
Alt: June 27, 2020, the orb silhouettes
Caption: June 27, 2020, the orb silhouettes
Alt: June 27, 2020, the birds are up
Caption: June 27, 2020, the birds are up

Why would the sun rise behind a shore-tethered pier? Topsail Island, NC, sits along the Atlantic angled on compass headings from southwest to northeast. Thus sunrise near the time of June’s summer solstice is positioned along the coast rather than directly into the ocean.

Images come in waves, throwing the sunlight at my feet

Alt: Sunlight at my feet
Caption: Sunlight at my feet

As the sun rises to meet them, clouds alter the landscapes … and paint different portraits (two two-frame slide shows)

  • Alt: Clouds alter the landscape
  • Alt: Clouds alter the landscapes
  • Alt: Clouds paint portrait
  • Alt: Clouds paint portraits

Rays fan out to greet fans of the new light

Alt: Rays of the day
Caption: Rays of the day

Details become visible as the day is fully formed, with fishermen lining pier that is five miles distant (2 image slideshow)

  • Alt: Distant pier fishermen
  • Alt: Distant pier

Details are afoot as well, aglow in the new light. Who’s that there toward the upper right in this shell field? A ghostly face … something peering but not from the pier. A scene from the movie E.T. is recollected, where the creature hides in a child’s closet, blending among stuffed animals, just as this guy casts his sideways glance at us. (3 image slideshow)

  • Alt: Shells aglow
  • Alt: Shells aglow detail 1
  • Alt: Shells aglow detail 2

The day has been lit, literally.

Two theater references come to mind, somehow. Encore! (or En Garde!! because I’m about to, once again, refer to ‘Hamilton: The Musical.’)

On this photo day, June 27, ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ would have enjoyed these scenes and written his opening, “Today is going to be a great day because …,” then completed his thought with the phrase, “… nature has already made it so.”

On this blog posting day, July 3, with ‘Hamilton’ debuting on streaming service Disney+, one might say that June 27 was a day when Angelica Schuyler would have expected even Alexander Hamilton to “Rise Up,” “Look Around,” and be “Satisfied” at “How Lucky We Are to be Alive Right Now.”

4 thoughts on “Sahara SunRise”

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