A Cape Cod Sunset That We Won’t Soon Forget

If I weren’t the lazy son of a you-know-what that I am, I’d examine this blog’s archives to see how many times I’ve written about sunsets. At least once, probably thrice or more. But it really doesn’t matter. Sunsets are phenomena that just about everyone oohs and aahs over. So, what scribe can resist immortalizing them? Not me, at least not the sunset that my wife Sandy and I recently caught on Cape Cod, that fine spit of territory in Massachusetts where we’ve been vacationing annually for the past 20 years. And it doesn’t bother me in the least that cyberspace is in dire need of a platoon of plumbers to unclog the gargantuan mass of sunset stories and sunset photos already in its bowels. Here’s what I have to say to cyberspace about that: Tough shit! I’m going to clog you up even more.

My wife Sandy and I try to fit at least one or two sunsets into our schedule while on the Cape. But viewing a sunset on Sunday October 14 wasn’t something that I’d anticipated doing. Because of the forecast that morning on weather.com — very overcast from mid-afternoon onward — I’d figured that sunset-gaping would have to wait for another day. The skies, however, were still clear at noon when Sandy and I were plotting our agenda. “Let’s go to the beach and maybe fly our kite. It’s nice out right now,” Sandy suggested. Duh! Why hadn’t I thought of that?

A bit later we found ourselves at Nauset Beach, a hop, skip and a jump from our rented house in the town of Orleans. Nauset Beach is a long section of Cape Cod’s astounding oceanside coastline, a coastline that is minimally-developed and almost endless in length. Nauset’s sands, upon which we hadn’t trod since our visit to the Cape a year ago, welcomed us back warmly. The skies were clean and casually decorated with clouds, the waters relatively calm. A beautiful day at the moment.

Sandy and kite at Nauset Beach.

We walked for a while and then launched the kite, letting out about 100 feet of string. The kite did its thing, sprinting from side to side while fluttering like there was no tomorrow. You’ve got to love kites, right? They’re kind of like little kids, all happy and jumpy. And it might have stayed aloft forever, so steady were the breezes. But all good things must come to an end, or so they say. After 45 minutes we therefore began to haul in our pal, who resisted our efforts. Ultimately, though, we prevailed.

We then puttered around Orleans’ village section. Or, more accurately, Sandy spent time in a clothing boutique that’s been a favorite of hers for years, while I sat on an old wooden bench outside the store waiting for Sandy to emerge. The hard-as-a-rock bench was doing a good job of turning my sorry ass red, and the bright sunlight of an hour earlier was no more. Clouds were rolling in, just as weather.com had predicted.

At 5:00 PM, however, after a supermarket stop to pick up a few items, I took another look at the sky. Hey, it wasn’t bad at all. In fact, it was on the mend. “Look at those clouds, Sandy,” I said. “They’re all over the place, sure, but plenty of blue is peeking out. The sunset game is on!”

We killed a little time and then drove to Rock Harbor, a picture-postcard-worthy part of Orleans on Cape Cod Bay, pulling into the parking area at 5:45. We were not alone. At least 20 other spectators were on the premises, watching the spectacle begin.

The skies were majestic, dazzling us with as wide a variety of clouds as I could remember ever seeing. They were thick and striated where the Sun was heading downward, tufted in an enormous area directly overhead, and wide and ribbon-like to the east. A naturalist I’m not, definitely. But if there’s anything I’ve learned from admiring the wonders of the world over the last many decades, it’s that a cloudless sky will create an eh sunset. It is clouds, as long as they are not blotting out the heavens, that reflect colors and create patterns that sometimes can blow your mind.

Sunset at 5:55 PM, before the orange flames erupted.

Mine was partially blown right from the start, gently but firmly, as subdued, pastel hues spread from the sunset’s western core, filling much of the sky and contrasting very pleasingly with the greys of the clouds. Sandy and I happily took all of this in for about 15 minutes. And then we began to gather ourselves, preparing to bid adieu to Rock Harbor, the show seeming to have reached its peak.

That’s when I turned my head westward once again, for no particular reason. I came up short, stunned and amazed by what had happened since last I’d looked only seconds before. Bright orange flames had erupted, intense and wild, above the Sun, turning everything on its head. Not only was that portion of sky going electric, but pretty much everywhere else up above was reacting to its energy.

Orange flames erupted at 6:07 PM

There’s no doubt that I’m not in the running to do a photo shoot for National Geographic or Vogue anytime soon, seeing that I neglected to aim my iPhone’s camera at anything beyond the main attraction in the west. But that abstract canvas of orange, yellow and grey streaks and blotches sure ain’t bad, is it? I said to Sandy that this was one of the very finest sunsets I’d ever witnessed. She seconded that emotion.

The sunset at 6:14 PM

At home I almost never think to watch the Sun set. That’s largely because my home region is a concrete jungle. And concrete jungles, as we know, don’t exactly inspire you to commune with nature. Cape Cod, on the other hand, though not a stranger to concrete, has enormous areas without that hard stuff, areas where you can escape from our species’ semi-madness. I really like Cape Cod.

(Don’t be shy about adding your comments. Gracias.)

(If you click on any photo, a larger image will open in a separate window.)

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112 thoughts on “A Cape Cod Sunset That We Won’t Soon Forget

  1. barrydjd October 22, 2018 / 12:12 am

    Don’t worry about clogging up cyberspace. Google made sure it’s huge so they can keep track of every minute of your life. Didn’t you feel them looking over your shoulder as you took those sunset photos?

    Liked by 5 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 22, 2018 / 8:56 am

      Every second there’s a zillion new entries launched into cyberspace. Totally incredible.

      Like

  2. Lynette d'Arty-Cross October 22, 2018 / 12:45 am

    I see nothing wrong with writing about the same topic repeatedly – we’re allowed to notice different aspects of the same thing at different times. 🙂

    Your photos are beautiful – I love sunsets. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 22, 2018 / 9:01 am

      Hi Lynette. Just about every writer repeats themselves over and over in basic ways. We’re only human! Enjoy the day. See you —

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Candice October 22, 2018 / 2:06 am

    Glorious sunset at 6:07! You described it beautifully. 🌅

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Paddy Tobin October 22, 2018 / 3:46 am

    We seem to pass through a cynical period in our lives when we readily dismiss what I might call the simple pleasures this world presents to us and express a “seen it all before” attitude with unfortunate regularity, almost as a badge of being experienced/grown up/ travelled/educated etc. Thankfully, like other phases of life, it passes and we come again to enjoy … sunsets, sunrises, natural beauty, a walk on the strand, a stroll in the woods, wildflowers – my special favourite in latter years. Should we tire of these beautiful things – sunsets and the likes – we really have become tired people. Becoming old is unavoidable but becoming tired of life doesn’t have to to be!

    Liked by 5 people

      • Paddy Tobin October 22, 2018 / 1:05 pm

        I have a friend who regularly tells me of, as she puts it, “las pequeñas cosas de la vida” – the little things of life”, those small things which brighten up the day – a new plant for the garden, her child’s smile, a sunrise! etc. These are the condiments of life!

        Liked by 2 people

  5. carpe diem Eire October 22, 2018 / 3:49 am

    I’m going to recommend you for National geographic. Actually some lovely shots and a nice plot to keep us enthralled

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 22, 2018 / 9:07 am

      Hi there. Many thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you enjoyed this piece. Have a great rest of the week.

      Like

  6. Carmel Bendon October 22, 2018 / 3:52 am

    I always enjoy a good sunset. And this one you’ve delivered is one of the best. Keep clogging!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 22, 2018 / 9:09 am

      Good to hear from you, Carmel. I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time. Sometimes you really luck out.

      Like

  7. bone&silver October 22, 2018 / 5:34 am

    Sunset is my favourite time of day, no question. Great pics, thanks for sharing 🙂 G

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Ruth October 22, 2018 / 6:11 am

    Every sunset looks different, and even different people with different cameras can see (and therefore frame) the same place at exactly the same time very differently, so there can never be too many sunset pics in my book! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 22, 2018 / 9:14 am

      Hi Ruth. Sunsets are amazing. Each is different. Each is beautiful in its own way. And they take place every day!

      Like

  9. Cristina Crawford October 22, 2018 / 6:43 am

    Absolutely perfect 6:07 photo. Aren’t you glad you looked back?! I love, LOVE sunsets. The ones in the deserts of Arizona are particularly fantastic as are the sunsets in the Rocky Mountains. Every single night for four months while caring for my mother in Carefree Arizona, I’d drop everything to spend time on her rooftop to catch the sunset. There was a sitting area up there and most evenings the Arizona sky did not disappoint. It softened considerably the difficult nature of my visit there. BTW…I’d say you LOVE Cape Cod. :-). Have a marvelous Monday.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. joyce hamilton October 22, 2018 / 7:55 am

    I love the sunset photo at 6 07. You should print it and framed. Enjoy!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 22, 2018 / 9:18 am

      Hi Joyce. You might want to check out Rock Harbor on your next visit to the Cape. A gorgeous area.

      Like

  11. vprofy October 22, 2018 / 8:06 am

    We’ve been going to Orleans every August for years. Would like to try October. Rock harbor, sunsets, beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Laurie Graves October 22, 2018 / 8:14 am

    One can never have too many descriptions of fantastic sunsets. Or too many photos. Those who tire of them are clearly tired of life. So true about clouds making for a more spectacular sunset. That 6:07 one is indeed a beauty.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 22, 2018 / 9:23 am

      Morning, Laurie. Like I said in the story title, me and my wife won’t forget that sunset anytime soon. Have a great week. Be seeing you.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. ellie894 October 22, 2018 / 8:32 am

    Absolutely stunning! And I so agree with you, I’ve found that some clouds give way to a brilliant show. Happy y’all enjoyed 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Michael Richards (certainline) October 22, 2018 / 8:36 am

    For so many years I’ve wanted to visit Cape Cod and I still hope that one day I will. This post just makes me long to do so even more. Beautiful!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Still the Lucky Few October 22, 2018 / 9:30 am

    The 6:07 photo definitely comes our on top! Lucky you, spending time in “Old Cape Cod”! It certainly brings out the poet in you, doesn’t it?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 22, 2018 / 9:54 am

      Morning, Diane. My wife and I visited Cape Cod for the first time in 1998. Unexpectedly, we got hooked. We keep coming back.

      Like

  16. greenpete58 October 22, 2018 / 9:53 am

    That orange flame photo is beautiful. Looks almost like the Northern Lights.

    Do you ever visit Sandwich? Two of my ancestors helped establish it in the 1600s. Let me know if you go, and I’ll have the Selectmen roll out the red carpet for you. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  17. tylerus October 22, 2018 / 1:38 pm

    Once again, lovely pics! I’m much more “oooooohed” by a sunrise than a sunset. Guess that’s because I’m a morning person . . . but if those a.m. colors aren’t as stunning as a, well, sunset. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 22, 2018 / 8:53 pm

      Hi Tyler. You can’t go wrong with sunrises or sunsets. Remarkable parts of the day.

      Like

  18. andrewcferguson October 22, 2018 / 1:48 pm

    Great pics, Neil – I often find it’s difficult to capture the magic of a sunset with the standard sort of cameras (or cameraphones) we ordinary mortals have, but the combination of the shots and your words did the trick!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. S. A. Young October 22, 2018 / 1:51 pm

    Gorgeous photos! Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. George October 22, 2018 / 3:00 pm

    Wonderful. That sky is jaw droppingly beautiful.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. JT Twissel October 22, 2018 / 3:13 pm

    Sometimes you just have to be patient with a sunset! Our house faces south so it’s the sunrises that are magical.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 22, 2018 / 9:05 pm

      Hey there, JT. Sunrises have an optimistic aspect to them, because they usher in daylight.

      Like

  22. Robert Parker October 22, 2018 / 3:53 pm

    That’s a stunner. Next year, you should get the Boston Pops out to that beach, and 6:07 PM they’re playing “Ode to Joy,” “Also sprach Zarathustra,” some kind of big showstopper. Or the Kinks are back together, “Waterloo Sunset”

    Liked by 2 people

  23. cincinnatibabyhead October 22, 2018 / 6:54 pm

    My gal loves a good sunset. We are fortunate to get some beauties where we are. Keep enjoying the good stuff Neil. It keeps me on track.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Alyson October 23, 2018 / 5:48 am

    What a beautiful place and such beautiful sunsets – Will definitely have to visit some day.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 23, 2018 / 7:48 am

      Hi Alyson. I’m pretty certain that you’d love this area. It’s got a lot going for it.

      Like

  25. Joanne Sisco October 23, 2018 / 8:06 am

    I agree with you about the clouds. They can blanket the sky in ‘meh’ … like we have today … or create a breathtaking vista … especially with the setting sun.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 23, 2018 / 9:19 am

      Many thanks for stopping by, Joanne. Clouds really open up the possibilities when it comes to sunsets. And sunrises too!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. endardoo October 23, 2018 / 9:02 am

    Spectacular, I would imagine. And so get to take the time to stop and smell the sunset!

    Liked by 2 people

      • endardoo October 23, 2018 / 12:06 pm

        Sure sounds like it. I have always enjoyed the “feel” of it when watching movies set around there. One of my brothers also spent a summer there as a student many years ago, and loved it

        Liked by 2 people

  27. Isabelle October 23, 2018 / 3:56 pm

    I’m very passionate about sunsets, sunrises are beautiful too, but sunsets have got something more. The colourful clouds, the moment of tranquility. Your sunset images are fabulous Neil! Can’t get enough sunsets. Isabelle

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 23, 2018 / 8:16 pm

      The problem with sunrises is that you have to get up too early to see them!
      Hi Isabelle. Thanks, as always, for adding your thoughts. Much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Isabelle October 24, 2018 / 3:26 pm

        Yeah! You’re so right. Being a late riser in the morning, sunrise is far too hard for me to enjoy. Always great to have a chat with you Neil. Thank you, too.

        Liked by 2 people

  28. janetsm October 23, 2018 / 5:09 pm

    Beautiful! My family makes fun of me for taking so many sunset pictures. Let them laugh. I don’t care.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 23, 2018 / 8:18 pm

      They can be so varied. I suppose that that is one of the most amazing things about them.

      Like

      • hiba9763 October 24, 2018 / 12:18 am

        I agree, sunsets are beautiful ! You can never get enough of them ! In each image you see a different view , the sky keeps changing and the clouds give a unique satisfaction when looking at them !

        Liked by 2 people

          • hiba9763 October 24, 2018 / 11:11 am

            You are welcome!!! I love them too and i’m glad i can share this with all the sunset lovers!!

            Liked by 1 person

  29. selizabryangmailcom October 23, 2018 / 11:21 pm

    Since there’s supposedly only seven basic stories or plots in the world anyway, how can anyone not repeat themes? I just looked them up: Overcoming the monster, rags to riches, the quest, voyage and return, rebirth, comedy, tragedy.

    Your sunset story probably falls under the quest. Maybe a feeling of rebirth, depending on the situation or level of emotions evoked, and your photos are certainly moving and humbling.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 24, 2018 / 7:17 am

      Great to hear from you, Stacey. Do awe and appreciation fit into any of those categories.? Those are the feelings I usually get when I’m looking at a sunset.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. tanjabrittonwriter October 23, 2018 / 11:43 pm

    One can never write about sunsets too much, Neil. This one definitely deserved your exuberance.
    And after reading about your other activities, I can’t get a tune out of my head (a so-called earworm):
    Let’s go fly a kite, up to the highest height…

    Liked by 2 people

  31. alhenry October 24, 2018 / 3:30 pm

    I think as some of your pics demonstrate, it’s the clouds–their texture and “arrangement”–that really make a sunset a SUNSET. Glad you got to grab “one more” before packing up and heading back for WINTER (she sobs).

    Also, this line caught me: “more accurately, Sandy spent time in a clothing boutique that’s been a favorite of hers for years, while I sat on an old wooden bench outside the store waiting for Sandy to emerge.” LOL, that’s familiar. My husband Ed has spent his share of time on benches outside various shopperies. He always comes prepared with a good read and apps like Solitaire on his phone. Except for the holiday sale at Macy’s when he buys every shirt in the store in his size, while I stare for hours at a pair of nifty boots, reminding myself I already own more pairs of nifty boots than I have closet space for.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Dave Ply October 24, 2018 / 5:00 pm

    I’m the last person to disparage nice sunset shots. I’m kinda partial to ’em, actually. More interesting than baby [kittens/puppies/grandkids/wild critters].

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 24, 2018 / 8:12 pm

      Hi Dave. I caught another sunset tonight. It was good, but nowhere near as good as the one I wrote about. Thanks a lot for dropping by. See you —

      Liked by 1 person

  33. acomediansguidetoenlightenment October 24, 2018 / 11:09 pm

    All of these are gorgeous but the second one is my favorite! I love a good sunset, as well. I’m very fortunate that I work at a restaurant on the 71st floor of the tallest building in L.A. and get to see miraculous sunsets each evening.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. annika October 24, 2018 / 11:48 pm

    I don’t see why you can’t be a National Geographic photographer? We were actually in Cape Cod for a day trip this past summer but unfortunately my youngest was ill and we had to rush back to our hotel in Boston. We missed the sunset… next time. In the meantime, thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 25, 2018 / 7:18 am

      Hi Annika. Cape Cod awaits your return. If you visit again, take in the section of ocean coastline that runs from Eastham to Provincetown. It’s spectacular.

      Liked by 1 person

      • annika October 25, 2018 / 10:55 am

        Thanks Neil, we did drive all the way up to Provincetown up to tip where the road divides and turns back and it was truly magnificent, just no sunset. We fell in love with Boston so I’m sure we’ll be heading down again!

        Liked by 1 person

  35. draliman October 25, 2018 / 3:14 am

    That sunset really is pretty spectacular. I often see great sunrises on my way to work but I’m driving and can’t take a picture.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 25, 2018 / 7:25 am

      Hi. Sunrises and sunsets are really something. Fabulous spectacles that take place every day. Thanks for dropping by my humble website. Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

  36. Silver Screenings October 25, 2018 / 11:01 am

    I gasped when I saw the fiery orange sunset images. Stunning!

    P.S. And there’s no such thing as writing too much about sunsets.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 25, 2018 / 11:52 am

      Hi there. The orange flames were amazing. One second they weren’t there, and then all of a sudden they burst through. Be seeing you. Enjoy the upcoming weekend.

      Like

  37. marilynyung October 25, 2018 / 10:44 pm

    Great post! We’ve had a rash of crazy-colorful sunrises this week in Missouri. Love your pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 25, 2018 / 11:43 pm

      Thanks for stopping by, Marilyn. The skies have been putting on great shows. And the price is right (i.e. free).

      Liked by 1 person

  38. Julie Yates October 28, 2018 / 8:43 am

    Wow! Gorgeous! In September we went to Cape Cod for the very first time – we will be back!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 28, 2018 / 7:05 pm

      Hello there, Julie. There is an expanse of huge sand dunes in Truro and Provincetown. Check them out next time, if you haven’t already seen them. It’s an aspect of Cape Cod that many people don’t know about. My next story will partially be about the dunes.

      Like

  39. C C Cedras October 28, 2018 / 1:19 pm

    You can write about sunsets of all kinds any time and every time so long as there are pics. There’s too much suffering in the world right now (sympathies, Neil); we need all the beauty we can get.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. jeanleesworld October 28, 2018 / 10:10 pm

    Those are amazing captures! Sticking around was clearly worth it. The clouds were broken just enough to capture the color without blocking the sun completely. Perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 29, 2018 / 7:14 am

      My wife and I caught 3 sunsets while we were on Cape Cod recently. All were good, but this one was the best by far. See you, Jean.

      Liked by 1 person

  41. Elizabeth M. Soltan October 30, 2018 / 2:33 pm

    Just heard a character on a TV show mention casually, “Funny, how as we get older we forget the things that bring us joy.” Your recent posts have been reminders of things worth noting and treasuring– sunsets, coffee, companionship, good writing ….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 30, 2018 / 5:16 pm

      Hi Liz. Good to hear your thoughts. Right, enjoying the “simple” pleasures is a good way to live.

      Like

  42. Kimberly October 30, 2018 / 11:09 pm

    The most intriguing thing about sunsets is the unique light show. They are never quite the same and often spectacular. Keep writing about them with the beautiful pictures. I don’t mind the clogging.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. lievelee November 4, 2018 / 11:32 am

    It’s definitely the ‘little things in life’ that make life interesting and no matter how many sunsets and sunrises we watch, they never fail to enthrall and amaze. Each one different, each one unique…

    Lieve

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger November 4, 2018 / 6:59 pm

      Hi Lieve. I’m with you on everything you said. Thanks a lot for stopping by. Much appreciated.

      Like

  44. Imelda November 5, 2018 / 12:46 pm

    I have never seen as beautiful a sunset as this because roofs and trees obstruct as well. I’d linger too if given the chance to see the sun set.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger November 5, 2018 / 1:27 pm

      I was lucky to have seen this sunset. It was a great one. Thanks for adding your thoughts, Imelda. I’m always glad to hear from you.

      Like

  45. aj vosse November 14, 2018 / 11:08 am

    Stunners indeed! You must do the sunrise/ sunset watching thing more often!
    (I will confess… I am one of those who clutter cyberspace (here and on Twitter and occasionally LinkedIn with sunrise/ sunset photos!)

    Liked by 1 person

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