One of the things I miss most about backpacking is watching the sunset every day.
Living in the city makes it hard to see a horizon. Good sunsets rarely align with a clear view point though, damn, have I tried to find them in hilly Birmingham.
Living in a latitude that varies the time of the sunrise/set by many hours over the year also adds planning, and only brings sunrise within easy reach in winter.
Living east of the Welsh mountains, in a temperate maritime climate, brings frequent grey skies and no guarantee of a clear day.
All problems for the sunset watcher but not insurmountable. As it turns out, all you have to do to see more sunsets is to decide to see more sunsets.
And so I added 'MOAR SUNRISES AND SUNSETS' onto my list of to dos last year, and started a WhatsApp group for 'Ladies of the Sunrise' – and here we are, 100 sunrises/sets later. Well, two sunrises and 98 sunsets because I'm not an early riser. And not exactly 98 sunsets because many of them are different timeframes of the same sunset. But let's not be picky, eh.
It's been lovely and uplifting reconnecting to such a basic daily rhythm. Which is really just hippie speak for the feel-good emotions of getting outdoors and taking notice of events that we take for granted every day. Big skies are beautiful and especially so when lit by the soft colours of the fading or rising sun.
I've learnt to spot a good sunset – it needs some cloud at various heights and it blazes better 20-20 mins after the sun dips below the horizon.
As for sunrise, I've only really had to get up early a handful of times for a quick swish of the curtains, and only once proper early, to see the dawn, which happens long before sunrise. There has also been a lot of full moon appreciation and star gazing to go alongside all of this. But celestial event watching is for another post.
For now, here is my selection of 100 golden-hour shots from Jan 2019-Jan 2020, taken on walks around Birmingham, Barmouth, Plymouth Sound, Aberdovey, Lizard and more. I've also slipped in a collaged sunset in there somewhere – blink and you'll miss it.