Sunrise In Suburbia

In most parts of the world the Sun is consistent in its rhythms. Each day it goes up. And then it goes down. Sunrise, sunset. Right, duh. Now, I’ve written about sunsets at least two or three times before on this publication’s pages. But not, until this moment, about sunrises. And I’m pretty sure that, like me, scribes and photographers (and just about everybody else) over the years generally have spent a lot more time gazing at and thinking about our star’s settings rather than its risings. Probably has something to do, in many cases, with their not wanting to freeze their asses off at six or seven o’clock in the morning. I can dig it.

A Cape Cod sunset. October 2015.
A Cape Cod sunset. October 2015.

I’m definitely a sunset guy. I especially like to witness them when I’m in beautiful locales with wide open vistas and visible horizons. As this blog’s regular readers know by now, various sections of Cape Cod meet those criteria for me sweetly and perfectly. You’d think, then, that when I’m on Cape Cod I’d also be a sunrise guy. I mean, I get up early enough in the morning to watch our stellar friend ascend. But nope, never once have I seen a Cape sunrise. And I feel guilty about that. Catching a sunrise has been on my Cape to-do list for at least 15 years. And I mean to scratch it off that list before Mr. Reaper (first name Grim) comes to take me away. I don’t know, I suppose I’ve just been too lazy on The Cape to rev up my motor in darkness, which is what it takes to do the sunrise thing.

6:53 AM, Dec. 3, 2016. (Thirteen minutes before the Sun broke the horizon)
6:53 AM on Dec. 3, 2016 in suburban Philadelphia (thirteen minutes before the Sun broke the horizon)

Recently I was thinking about the above. And also thinking about the pathetic fact that, as far as I could recollect, I’d never seen a sunrise anywhere. “Yo, schmuck! You’re pushing 70,” I said to myself. “It’s time you remedied this situation.” And I did. On the first Saturday of the present month. On the outfield grasses of a baseball field within a public park located two blocks from my house in the Philadelphia suburbs. I’d like to say that it was a world-class experience, but I can’t. And that’s mostly because it took place in a less than jaw-droppingly beautiful spot. Gorgeous undeveloped areas are not to be found in my neck of the leveled woods. And, seeing that I wasn’t in the mood for driving miles and miles, the park was as good as or better than any location I could think of that wasn’t a hefty distance away.

7:05 AM
7:05 AM
7:11 AM
7:11 AM

Yes, I might sound like one, but I’m not totally an ungrateful fool. Only partly. Truth be told, I was glad to be out on the baseball field watching the sky get brighter and brighter and more and more colorful as the Sun pushed upward, breaking the horizon at 7:06 AM and continuing on its red-hot journey. There were lots of clouds in the sky and, as with sunsets, they enhanced the picture by adding malleable patterns and by enveloping and reflecting hues stylishly. I was into it, silently oohing and aahing a little bit while documenting the très cool event with my phone’s camera. And in between doing that, during the half hour that I spent in the park, I kind of rejoiced that the swarms of people who live all around where I was standing were, for the most part, nowhere to be seen or heard. That’s usually not true in my little corner of the world. I didn’t complain. You happily take your moments of peace when you can find them. All I saw was one fellow Baby Boomer striding along at a leisurely pace, a morning walker whom I’ve noticed in the neighborhood a few times before. He kept to the park’s walking paths, not once turning his head toward the fireworks taking place in the eastern heavens. And I heard one person, a someone who stepped outside his or her house to dump some trash into its not quite final resting place, a garbage can.

As my visit to the park approached the 30-minute mark I noticed that my fingers, though not my ass, were freezing.  It was about 38°F outside. I hadn’t brought along a pair of gloves. “Enough!” I almost shouted. “Sunrise, you’ve been great. You’ve been beautiful. I’m honored to have been in your presence. But we’re done for now. And so I bid you a melancholy goodbye.”

Hands thrust inside my coat pockets, in bright light I walked the short distance back to my house to drink some coffee and pop some (vitamin) pills. It had been a good start to the day.

Panoramic view from where I was standing.
Panoramic view from where I was standing.

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27 thoughts on “Sunrise In Suburbia

    • yeahanotherblogger December 14, 2016 / 9:06 am

      Until recently I didn’t know that my phone’s camera could take panoramic photos. I’m glad I found out.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Sabiscuit December 16, 2016 / 10:00 pm

        I am still looking for something panoramic to capture with my phone, so I’m on the flipside of that. Brilliant panorama capture. Breathtaking view. xo

        Liked by 1 person

  1. sniderjerry December 14, 2016 / 2:13 am

    “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

    Good morning, Neil. Have a great day! Jerry

    Liked by 1 person

  2. byebyebeer December 14, 2016 / 5:09 am

    Nice photos. Especially like the panoramic one. Sunrises and sunsets are like gifts we get to open every (non cloudy) day, but yeah, I usually don’t either. Thanks for the reminder not to take them for granted.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger December 14, 2016 / 9:12 am

      I find it easy to forget that the natural world exists. That’s what happens when you live in urban/suburban environments. The sunrise I took in was a good reminder that there’s a lot of elemental beauty out there.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Eugene Knapik December 14, 2016 / 8:05 am

    I used to be a night guy. For years I worked afternoons and evenings, getting home at midnight, painting in the studio for 2 or 3 hours and sleeping until the crack of noon. These days we’re up early, and this time of year that mean while it’s still dark. The dogs would let us sleep in but not the cats. They turn the place into a demolition derby if we don’t get some kibble down on time. The sun is often rising while we’re out walking the Newfs, and it’s lovely, especially down by the lake.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Joyce December 14, 2016 / 8:24 am

    I love watching the beautiful sunsets from my window. If you want to experience more beautiful sunsets drive to Larimore park about 8 minutes from us across from Holy Redemer Hospital.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. swabby429 December 15, 2016 / 6:43 pm

    On mostly cloudy days, a person can pretty well guess what sunset will look like. On the other hand, the early mornings can often be more surprising. Anyway, the layout of my property is conducive to sunrises but not sunsets.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger December 15, 2016 / 7:32 pm

      You know, I liked checking out the sunrise recently. I don’t plan to do it again soon, what with winter settling in where I live (near Philadelphia). But once it starts warming up again, I think I’ll become an occasional sunrise viewer.


  6. Martin December 16, 2016 / 2:28 am

    Nice piece. I love sunrises, especially when they cheer me up on an otherwise cheerless drive to work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger December 16, 2016 / 7:50 am

      Hi, Martin. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
      Sunrises and sunsets tug at our emotions in a good way. We need that.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Akuokuo December 24, 2016 / 10:26 am

    Your blog is great. I always learn and see something new! Wishing you all the best for 2017!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger December 24, 2016 / 12:18 pm

      Hi. Thanks a lot for your good thoughts about my blog. I’m glad you enjoy it. I like your blog very much.

      I hope that 2017 will be a real good year for you and yours.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Akuokuo December 24, 2016 / 12:28 pm

        Thank you for your kind words. I wish I could be as brave as you and have a comments section….but…argh…maybe in 2017! 🙂


  8. andrewcferguson December 26, 2016 / 4:53 am

    Nice piece, Neil. At my latitude in Lowland Scotland the sun doesn’t bother getting up till about half past eight, so I usually get a fine view of it from my office window. No matter how pressured the day, we usually find time to remark on it – and there have been some spectacular bursts of red recently. Towards Spring though, I get to walk to work with it – which helps towards a moment of stillness and reflection before the madness of the day job. As ever, your fine writing has stirred me to write more than I’d planned!

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger December 26, 2016 / 8:00 am

      Hi. The sunrises (with red) that you’ve been seeing sound great. I haven’t checked out any sunrises since writing this story, but I should. They’re cool!

      Liked by 1 person

      • andrewcferguson December 26, 2016 / 11:43 am

        Neil, for you, I might just have to take my camera with me when I return to work on Thursday!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. jveeds December 31, 2016 / 11:29 am

    I’m reminded of a morning, some 35 years ago when I got the idea to photograph a sunrise at Fairmount Park in Philly. I dragged the wife (then-wife) out and we patiently awaited. i don’t think we got much of a sunrise but I did get some great shots of the downtown skyline.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger December 31, 2016 / 12:47 pm

      Hi. Thanks for stopping by. Watching/photographing a sunrise or sunset or the city skyline from Fairmount Park is a good idea. What a beautiful, and enormous, park.


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