Two Sunsets By The Bay

It’s not as if there haven’t been enough sunset stories published over the years. Shit, their numbers probably run in the tens of millions. Nevertheless, I’m unashamedly adding to the mega-glut right now. And why not? Sunsets can be spellbinding. We watch primo ones quietly, maybe even reverentially, giving them the respect that they deserve.

From my experience, clouds, more than anything, are what make or break sunsets. Our friend the Sun, when setting, needs clouds to absorb, reflect and refract its light. To make things interesting, in other words. But not too many clouds, as the Sun ain’t got a chance when sheets of clouds abound. As for cloudless skies, well, they are canvases upon which sunsets do not rise above the meh level. When the white-hot fire ball heads downward on a cloudless day, the color and pattern possibilities for the upcoming sunset are limited.

And then there’s location. Needless to say, it counts for plenty when it comes to sunsets. If you’re in the middle of Manhattan, for instance, where tall buildings thrive, you are barely going to be able to see sunsets, whatever their quality, let alone appreciate them. On the other hand, if Cape Cod Bay is nearby, as it was recently for me and my wife Sandy, you’re f*cking golden.

Cape Cod Bay, enormous and fed by the Atlantic Ocean, abuts the northern coast of Cape Cod, a lengthy peninsula that’s part of Massachusetts, USA. We were on the Cape, vacationing our asses off, for a two-and-a-half week stretch that ran from mid-October to early November. During the trip, among a host of activities, we walked and hung out on four of the numerous public beaches along the bay. Over the years we’ve been on quite a few of the Cape’s other bayside beaches too, and have yet to be disappointed. The sands are clean, and masses of seagrasses are plentiful in many sections close to shore. And the waters themselves are inspiring, partly because of their vastness. Staring out at the bay, to me, sometimes seems like staring into infinity.

Our vantage point for the first of the two great sunsets we saw on the Cape this year was First Encounter Beach, in the township of Eastham. It’s one of my favorite Cape Cod Bay beaches, possibly my top pick, though the competition is stiff. There we were on a comfortable mid-afternoon, admiring our kite as it did its carefree thing way overhead. The bay’s waters had receded profoundly, leaving many acres of mudflats in their wake. Great beauty surrounded us, and we knew it.

First Encounter Beach (Eastham, Cape Cod)
First Encounter Beach (Eastham, Cape Cod)

After reeling in the kite, we took a stroll upon the sands. Then we made our way back to our car, contemplating dinner. But it wasn’t dinnertime just yet, and sunset was scheduled to take place in about 20 minutes. So, we decided to stay, a wise decision, for we soon witnessed a sunset that we are unlikely to forget. At its beginning, and made possible by well-positioned clouds, bands and assorted streaks of oranges, golds and greys filled the western sky’s lower regions prodigiously. The greys took a back seat after a while, allowing the brighter colors to go wild. The darkening sky, at that point, was absolutely aflame. What a sight!

The second excellent sunset arrived a week and a half later at the bayside swath of territory known as Corn Hill Beach. It’s located in the township of Truro, which is far out on the Cape and, unlike Cape Cod’s 14 other townships, totally rural.

I’ve been a big fan of Corn Hill Beach since discovering it around 15 years ago. Like First Encounter Beach, it faces due west, perfect for sunset-watching. What’s more, the views from Corn Hill Beach, when you look seaward, are wide and unobstructed. A wonderful place.

Corn Hill Beach (Truro, Cape Cod)
Corn Hill Beach (Truro, Cape Cod)

Both Sandy and I agree that, as far as we can remember, we’ve never seen a sunset such as the one at Corn Hill Beach. The sunset appeared to be foggy and misty, despite the fact that nowhere else, in any direction, was fog or mist visible. Light on its feet, the sunset was the ideal partner for the bay waters moving gently beneath it.

We absorbed the sunset and its surroundings for 20 minutes, then returned, a bit downcast, to Corn Hill Beach’s parking lot. For we were fully aware of what we’d be losing soon. The natural world in all its glory is readily available on Cape Cod. Alas, back home in the grossly overdeveloped suburbs of Philadelphia, where we’d be in 48 hours, such is not even remotely the case.

129 thoughts on “Two Sunsets By The Bay

  1. Audrey Driscoll November 15, 2022 / 1:00 am

    I guess at Cape Cod you can see both sunrises and sunsets, if you pick the right beach.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger November 15, 2022 / 12:44 pm

      Hi. The best sunset views are from beaches on Cape Cod Bay. The best sunrise views are from the beaches on the Atlantic Ocean.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. johnlmalone November 15, 2022 / 1:12 am

    you’re doing it tough, Neil, but you still manage to eloquently describe some gorgeous sunsets and photograph them all as well; it’s sad when you have to say goodbye —

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger November 15, 2022 / 12:46 pm

      Howdy, John. I haven’t wanted to go on walks in my area since getting home from the vacation, because it just doesn’t compare at all with the beauty of Cape Cod.

      Liked by 1 person

      • johnlmalone November 15, 2022 / 1:59 pm

        I understand that, Neil; coastal areas are special places; I do my best walks along beaches too —

        Liked by 1 person

  3. gabychops November 15, 2022 / 2:45 am

    Thank you so much for such a treat in the morning! Fabulous photos!
    Unforgettable, a big thank you again. Also, you write beautifully about nature!

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  4. swabby429 November 15, 2022 / 5:38 am

    Those are indeed very lovely sunsets and I like your descriptions. It’s funny how beauty is enhanced by imperfection. Our most beautiful sunsets come courtesy of volcanic eruption pollution or water vapor diffusion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger November 15, 2022 / 12:57 pm

      Hi. I wonder if climate change will have or already has had effects on the appearance of sunrises and sunsets.

      Liked by 1 person

      • swabby429 November 15, 2022 / 1:02 pm

        I’m guessing yes. However there have been some volcanic events during the past few years that might be masking the overall effects.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Anonymous November 15, 2022 / 7:56 am

    Fantastic photos!!! Love your Cape posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Paddy Tobin November 15, 2022 / 8:29 am

    We have often commented that we would hate to live where the sea was not within easy striking distance; it has been part of our lives since childhood, somewhere to swim, play, walk, loll about and enjoy sunrises and sunsets so I can understand fully your enjoyment of the beaches on Cape Cod. Do you swim? The “township of Truro” caught my eye – and uncommon and unusual name and the name of a town in the county of Cornwall in south-west England.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Paddy Tobin November 15, 2022 / 3:22 pm

        Yes, it is a particularly beautiful part of the country and especially good for gardens, the reason we visited.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Helen Devries November 15, 2022 / 8:51 am

    Those were glorious sunsets…the first one made me look back to when we lived near the sea in an area of mudflats and creeks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger November 15, 2022 / 1:03 pm

      Mudflats are much more prominent along certain Cape Cod Bay shorelines than along others. I’ve never known why. In any case, I get a kick out of walking on mudflats. They’re pretty cool.

      Like

  8. Robert Parker November 15, 2022 / 9:11 am

    You took some beautiful shots, Neil, especially the first two I’d hang on the wall.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. adguru101 November 15, 2022 / 9:33 am

    Beautiful, Neil! I spent all my summers from ages 1-20 on the Cape (Woods Hole as a child and then Falmouth, where I worked in summer theatre) and the sunsets were indeed breathtaking. I now live in Oregon, where our coastal house affords daily views of sea and sky. There’s nothing like the smell, sound, and sight of the ocean, ahhhh 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger November 15, 2022 / 1:07 pm

      Hi. You’re right — oceans are the greatest. I didn’t start developing a love of the ocean till Sandy and I started going to Cape Cod. Better late than never!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Ally Bean November 15, 2022 / 10:07 am

    I didn’t realize any of Cape Cod was totally rural. I’m glad you stayed for the sunset. Like you we live in suburbia so don’t see the whole show. Or only see it when kind people share their photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger November 15, 2022 / 1:13 pm

      Hey, Ally. Parts of CC are very sea-side-y, and lots of vacationers go to those sections. Truro, though, is pretty undeveloped. There’s no true village area, and its population is small.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Kim Smith November 15, 2022 / 12:30 pm

    Beautiful photos, Neil! I also live in an urban area where I can’t get a good view of a sunset without driving some distance. It’s frustrating sometimes, but I think of it like this: If I lived on a beach where I had a perfect view of the sunset every night, I believe I’d start taking it for granted. I think we appreciate some things more because we don’t have them all the time — think about rainbows or the beauty of fall foliage on trees.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger November 15, 2022 / 1:16 pm

      I agree. When we don’t have certain things available all the time, we look forward to when they will be available again.

      Like

  12. Anonymous November 15, 2022 / 1:03 pm

    Very true Neil !😪

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Sandy November 15, 2022 / 1:28 pm

    I don’t think there’s anything better than seeing a sunset on a beach. When I’m there, I am awed and just a little bit sad that I can’t be there every day to catch the magic. Like you, I eventually have to return to the city where I can only imagine the sun setting elsewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger November 15, 2022 / 4:14 pm

      Hi, Sandy. What’s also neat is that sunsets draw a crowd at certain beaches. On Cape Cod, anyway. Many of these folks probably don’t go out to see movies or to hear music. But they go to watch sunsets, which is a cool thing to do.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Jacqui Murray November 15, 2022 / 4:16 pm

    I do like sunsets, but wish I could feel what you do. Maybe like that first sip of coffee? Overwhelming?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger November 15, 2022 / 5:11 pm

      Hi. On Cape Cod I saw a total of four sunsets. At home, where the views are obstructed by trees and houses, I look at six or so per year. So, I don’t really see all that many. If I watched too many, I’d lose interest!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. eden baylee November 15, 2022 / 6:04 pm

    Beautiful pictures Neil. Every sunset is special, no matter how many you’ve seen or photographed or written about, and I’m glad to read your unique take on it.

    You keep moving Cape Cod up my list of places to return to one day! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Rosaliene Bacchus November 15, 2022 / 9:23 pm

    Sunsets to remember! Beautiful, Neil. How can we humans ever compete with such a glorious show of Earth’s life-giving star?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger November 15, 2022 / 11:35 pm

      The universe is incomprehensibly amazing. I was going to write more than that, but I think I’ll leave it at that.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Lynette d'Arty-Cross November 15, 2022 / 9:33 pm

    I agree about sunsets. They are always wonderful. Please post as many photos as you would like – they are beautiful pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger November 15, 2022 / 11:39 pm

      Thanks. There’s probably a pretty good chance that I’ll work a sunset or two into one of my stories next year.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Ann Coleman November 15, 2022 / 9:57 pm

    It’s got to be hard to walk away from those sunsets! But the upside is, they are a big part of what makes you love the Cape so much…and you know you’ll see them again.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. talebender November 16, 2022 / 7:16 am

    From our Ontario home, we see the sunrise; here in Florida, the sunset. Both can be glorious, as your pictures attest. And walking the beach is restorative, as your words aptly convey.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger November 16, 2022 / 8:56 am

      “Restorative” is the right word. I could use a beach walk right now. But I’m back home, and the nearest beach is probably 70 miles away! Maybe farther than that.

      Like

  20. Alyson November 16, 2022 / 2:04 pm

    You can never tire of a beautiful sunset as just a little bit different every time. I’m really chuffed with the pictures I’ve taken recently too.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Riham November 16, 2022 / 9:27 pm

    You’re selling Cape Cod for sure! Sunset looks marvellous from your photos

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Dave November 17, 2022 / 8:51 am

    Hard to choose between the two (and I suppose I don’t have to) but if pushed I’d take the Corn Hill Beach sunset. You sold me on “rural” and “west-facing”, and the concentration of fog and colors on the horizon is mesmerizing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger November 17, 2022 / 2:04 pm

      Hi. I’m at my volunteer job in the Philly burbs right now. I like the job. But I’d prefer to be on Corn Hill Beach instead!

      Like

  23. markbierman November 17, 2022 / 11:44 am

    Great photos! I agree, clouds can make or break a sunset. There’s something incredible about a fiery sunset reflected in the clouds. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. annieasksyou November 17, 2022 / 12:59 pm

    Spectacular photos and super accompanying narrative. I enjoyed your description of the impact of clouds and location.

    I have in my phone a photo of a Martha’s Vineyard sunset that I took several years ago. For reasons of its own, my iPhone set it to music and showcases it several times a day. I don’t mind one whit.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Americaoncoffee November 17, 2022 / 8:23 pm

    What an amazing descriptive analysis. Your images and words are very intense. With this share Neil, I am seeing another side of you, which is, a truly deep love for nature. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  26. shoreacres November 17, 2022 / 8:32 pm

    You certainly have deepened my appreciation for the Cape. It’s more complex–and in some ways more simple– than I realized. Having a spot to see sunsets like this is a real gift. If I could make myself do it, I could get some similar views in Galveston and the barrier islands down that way, but the thirty mile drive back home in the dark is just a bit of an issue for me now. No matter; your photos provide pleasure enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger November 17, 2022 / 11:33 pm

      Evening. I know what you mean about driving at night. There’s a lot of aggressive, impatient drivers out there, and being on the same roads as them is worse at night than it is in daylight.

      Like

  27. Michele Anderson November 17, 2022 / 8:49 pm

    I absolutely love sunsets, Neil. They stir the soul. Your pictures of the Cape Cod sunsets are breathtaking. I can see how you love it there.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. andrewcferguson November 18, 2022 / 12:50 pm

    Fantastic pics! It almost inspires me to drag my sorry ass (as I understand you Statesiders put it) out of bed and take a sunrise picture soon – one advantage of staying this far north is it beedn’t be super early to do so at this time of year!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. fauquetmichel November 18, 2022 / 4:29 pm

    This blog allows you to express your emotion, for instance,in front of a sunset.
    In friendship
    Michel

    Liked by 2 people

  30. George November 19, 2022 / 1:57 am

    Wonderful. Two veritable slices of heaven. I love the idea you were “vacationing your asses off”.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Fran Johns November 19, 2022 / 2:06 am

    Gorgeous photos, I feel many sunsets better. Do you know the Cloud Appreciation Society? Wonderful veddy veddy British-HQ’d biz that sends the Cloud of the Day into my computer to start every morning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger November 19, 2022 / 7:36 am

      Morning. I’d never heard of the Cloud Appreciation Society before. I took a look at their website a minute ago. Excellent!

      Like

  32. snakesinthegrass2014 November 19, 2022 / 2:55 pm

    Absolutely beautiful snaps here, Neil. Such gorgeous sunsets in what looks like a real heaven of a place. – Marty

    Liked by 2 people

  33. stargazer November 20, 2022 / 12:49 pm

    Wonderful photos! I can never get enough of sunsets – or sunset pictures for that matter… One is always different from the other and it’s also a different experience depending on the landscape and surroundings.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Mthobisi Magagula November 21, 2022 / 1:15 pm

    Wow this is a detailed blog post about the sun and I love the way you are describing the features of the sun and its needs such as reflecting and refracting its light as well as the visibility of clouds that can make or break the sunset/ sky🔥🔥🙌

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Linda Pearce Griffin November 21, 2022 / 1:58 pm

    Thank you for spurring me to think more deeply about sunsets. I had not given thought to the fact that clouds are so important in making them more impressive. I will probably think of you the next time I am admire a sunset. 🙂 And thanks for sharing your pictures – they were entirely lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. lookingforthehigherself November 22, 2022 / 1:46 am

    I always welcome a sunset post. Such moving photos – thanks for
    posting it and letting us have the vibe of what it feels like to watch such a stunning and
    calming experience of watching the sun go down at Cape Cod Bay. We are truly blessed with this beautiful earth.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. alhenry November 22, 2022 / 6:01 pm

    Growing up along Lake Michigan, we annually vacationed at a resort about 90 miles up the lake for ten years. After dinner every night, fifty or so guests gathered on a porch to watch the sun set over the lake. Even as a kid of 5 and 6, I knew it was spectacularly beautiful. It never occurred to me until I went off to college that not everyone lives on a big lake or ocean, LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger November 22, 2022 / 7:28 pm

      You know, I’m reading a book of stories right now by Isaac Asimov. One of the stories is titled, believe it or not, Sunset On The Water.

      Liked by 1 person

  38. Writing to Freedom November 23, 2022 / 9:50 am

    Beautiful sunset and images Neil. I can see why you wouldn’t want to leave. You made a great story of your visiit

    Liked by 1 person

  39. rkrontheroad November 24, 2022 / 12:19 pm

    Thanks for this one – brought back memories of that wonderful sunset on Chapin Beach, where the tide goes out forever, from last year.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Pam Lazos November 25, 2022 / 10:05 am

    Gorgeous, Neil. Did you know that you can safely watch the sunset while it is touching the horizon? You don’t get those blind spots in your eyes After it separates then it becomes unsafe to stare at the sun. But while it’s touching, it’s a glorious sight! Happy Thanksgiving! I’m grateful for sunsets and the inevitable sunrises that follow.

    Liked by 1 person

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