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"The sky broke like an egg into full sunset and the water caught fire."
- Pamela Hansford Johnson

Sunrises and sunsets have always captivated me.

In fact, the entire sky fascinates me and is one of my favorite subjects to photograph: Soft early morning or late afternoon sunshine streaming through clouds, casting interesting shadows on earth. Thin wisps of clouds or puffy white cotton balls in intriguing patterns or dark forbidding storm clouds -- the variety is unending. Bright blue sky reaching to infinity, or penetrating fog that shrinks my world. Twinkling stars, the various phases of the moon. Subtle or dramatic, I love to watch the sky.

I've taken photos of sunsets from houses in which I've lived, on trips hither and yon, across fields and highways, from beaches on both coasts and the Gulf of Mexico, and from mountains high and valleys low, but I don't believe I've ever seen more drama at sundown than what I saw on Galveston Island one evening this week.

Here's an example of the "egg breaking:"

I showed a couple sunset photos from the Gulf (beach) side of Galveston Island State Park in the last entry. I have more, but they don't compare to the ones that follow. These are all from the marsh area on the Bay side of the park.

I thought I might get some good photos from the observation platform but there wasn't any water close to it. I definitely wanted water nearby for colorful reflections like those above. I finally found the perfect spot late one afternoon, and just in time to capture this spectacular kaleidoscope of colors. All these photos were taken over a span of about half an hour. I stationed myself on the eastern shore of Oak Bayou near the parking area, turning in all directions as the sky kept changing around me, and took dozens and dozens of photos.

The softer colors are to the north, south, and east of my vantage point. I'll show seven of those pictures first. The bright, dramatic colors like the photo above -- "where the sky broke like an egg . . . and the water caught fire" -- those are toward the west and the setting sun. I'll show twenty more of those shots in sequence as they reach a crescendo of fire in the sky and water.

Each series below is a time lapse as you watch the sun sink and the clouds and colors morph. I hope you enjoy viewing the pictures almost as much as I enjoyed being there as they "developed." To say I was stunned by the beauty around me is an understatement.

View south along Oak Bayou to the upland prairie and beach


View east toward an old park pavilion













Monet or Nikon??  These photos look like impressionistic paintings.

The sun is down but the drama continues.





The colors became even more stunning near the end of the show.





Water "on fire"





End of show. Darkness soon took over.

Sunsets don't get much better than this. I feel privileged to have been able to experience that one. Believe it or not, this is only a quarter of the photos I took that evening.. Thank goodness for digital cameras!

Next entries: back in town -- an architectural and historical tour of Galveston

"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Cody, and Tater

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2008 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil