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December 3, 2009

The beach was empty except for a small group of people at one end, a jogger and two photographers. A strong cold breeze had moved on shore, sweeping handfuls of finely ground white sand up, then, across the beach into my face. Fighting to control my hair against the wind, I pushed the sunglasses back onto my head and looked around the beach. A warm golden lightย  moved over the seagrass while the sand gradually took on a soft pink hue. The sun was saying goodbye.

It was an hour before sunset at Fort DeSoto beach, the day after Thanksgiving, and I stood chilled to the bone waiting patiently for something — a colourful transition. Looking at the light and sky, I began to wonder if anything was going to happen.

by Cate

Fort DeSoto Beach located close to Tampa, is a wide open strip of beach with limited shade and bleached white sand. It is popular with sun-worshippers and picnic fans during the summer months providing warm calm waters for swimming and accessible fishing spots. But, sunset’s during summer disappoint with pale oranges and washed out pinks, often deflating the hopes of avid photographers and spectators, including myself.

Winter gave a cameo appearance during Thanksgiving increasing the chances of a golden sunset at Fort DeSoto Beach. I quickly moved into action — taking my fiance along with me. We had both been trailing sunsets along the beach, on and off, since my first visited in 2007 and none of them turned out impressive.

“Not enough dust particles in the air.” My knowledgeable boyfriend said concluding his sunset theory.

I remembered how fire-red the sunsets were during New Zealand’s summer, earned from Australia’s plight with droughts or forest fires. I knew a big amount of particles were needed to create a brilliant sunset.

Last Friday in the late afternoon,ย  the wait paid off. Particles and dust were in the atmosphere, not a lot, but enough to say — sunset.

by Cate

It did throw up some flames in a final farewell to the day — and in defiance to my skepticism.

by Cate

Ending a wonderfully cool day in Tampa, on a special note.

For more photo Friday stories check out Delicious Baby.

Caffeinated Traveller

  1. Catherine permalink
    December 3, 2009 9:29 pm

    That certainly does say sunset – what a change – but I reakky like the first shot too with the pattern of the clouds…

  2. December 4, 2009 10:12 am

    Nothing better than a sunset on the beach! I had never really thought about the dust particles before…interesting.

  3. December 4, 2009 10:15 am

    Wow!! Beautiful shot definitely worth the wait!

    Thanks for sharing about the dust particle. I have never known about that before. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. December 4, 2009 10:26 am

    Beautiful photos! I love the look of the second one!

  5. December 4, 2009 12:29 pm

    Stunning photos — I love that you trail sunsets. Thanks for sharing!

  6. December 4, 2009 12:42 pm

    Thanks everyone, the sunset wasn’t too bad after reviewing my pictures. Yes I didn’t know about the particles either but it all makes sense. Probably explains why Seoul and Tokyo have amazing glowing red sunsets.

  7. December 4, 2009 12:57 pm

    Sunset pics are beautiful but there is a danger of your beautiful sunset looking just like everyone elses. Great techniques here for giving your sunset shot ‘the edge’. Well done.

  8. December 4, 2009 4:10 pm

    I love a beautiful sunset – and I don’t care how many I’ve seen before – I will still stop and stare for a moment at every one I see.

    Thanks Cate for the story to frame them in, as well (and those clouds and ridges in the first shot are also worth a mention, too ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

  9. December 4, 2009 7:01 pm

    Nothing says “great end to a beautiful day” like a fabulous suset. Thanks for sharing this one.

  10. Bear permalink
    December 5, 2009 12:00 am

    Sunsets and sunrises — perfect bookends for a day ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. December 5, 2009 2:16 am

    Beautiful pictures. I certainly want to be on that beach right about now. Sunsets at the beach are just so amazing. They never get old.

  12. December 5, 2009 3:48 am

    Gorgeous! I didn’t realize dust particles are to thank for beautiful sunsets. Learn something and see nice photos – thanks!

  13. December 5, 2009 10:24 am

    Seattle is cold, and dark this time of year. I would love a sunset like that right about now.

    As my husband says (no matter what day of year it is): We’re one day closer to the longest day of the year. He’s right.

  14. December 5, 2009 3:12 pm

    Deeelicious! As a New Zealander living in Belgium (with its 60km stretch of coast) I miss this kind of thing. Thanks for blogging your photographs. Almost empty beaches … something so taken forgranted back home, are much-missed in this European life of mine.

  15. December 5, 2009 5:52 pm

    Hey thanks everyone — again!!, Sorry I can respond any longer than this short feeble comment, I’m at the airport and the internet clock is ticking down. Enjoy your weekend, most of mine will be spent on a plane.

  16. December 6, 2009 5:22 pm

    These are gorgeous Cate. And I learned something about dust particles. Again, love your blog!

  17. Bear permalink
    December 7, 2009 7:39 pm

    I hope the sunsets in New Zealand are as good or even better ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy the cheese and wine there, too, I am envious!

  18. December 7, 2009 8:43 pm

    Great shots!
    Having the beach to yourselves must have made the sunset that much more special ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Catherine permalink
    December 9, 2009 12:25 am

    love those red shoes on the tracks – hardly travelling shoes?? share your perspective on pros and cons of travelling and living away from home – London will always be my home even though I have now been in mexico city for 5 years…

  20. December 10, 2009 9:54 pm

    Hello everyone, sorry I haven’t been back to comment, thanks again for your warm words and inspiration. I love reading all your blogs and hope to visit them soon!

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