Friday, March 18, 2016

Northwest Images: Earlybird Gets the Sunrise

In the predawn darkness, the alarm jolts me awake on this chilly March morning. Less than a week after the switch to Daylight Savings Time, it's still a challenge to get up this early.

But the extra hour of morning darkness is welcome. For a few weeks, I don't have to get up as early to watch and shoot the sunrise.

I dress quickly, have a few bites of banana, grab the camera, and go. 

With no time to waste because the sky colors are constantly changing, my first stop is a pedestrian bridge atop a hill, the highest spot nearby.

When the sky is relatively clear, with some scattered clouds for dramatic effect, a Seattle area sunrise (or sunset) is hard to beat. The jagged Cascade peaks to the east and the equally craggy, jagged Olympic Mountains to the west across Puget Sound frame a glowing, brilliant, sometimes subtle sky.

I snap a few quick shots (above), and then dash to the car and drive down to the edge of Puget Sound at Golden Gardens. Why would I go to a west-facing location to shoot a sunrise? For the alpenglow, a reddish glow seen on mountain summits across the horizon from the rising/setting sun.

With the reflected light of the sunrise to the east, the snowy peaks are aglow with orange-pink light. And it's not just the peaks; lingering clouds are also tinged pastel pink.

Not many are out this early on a weekday morning. It's just me and the seagulls plus a few joggers. Not a bad backdrop for a morning run.

Because it's my personal ritual to always touch the sea whenever I go to the beach, I crawl over some rocks down to the water's edge and dip my hand into the salty water.

And then it's off to get ready for the work day ahead, but not before pausing to appreciate the lovely spring blossoms overhead.

Because spring has arrived here in the Pacific Northwest.

Think about getting up early to welcome spring at the cusp of morning. I guarantee it's an invigorating way to start your day.

[Add-on a day later: Another spectacular sunrise today! Didn't have the camera, but the image of neon orange, gold,  and pink layered with dark purple-blue clouds is seared in my mind.]

Happy trails and thanks for visiting Pacific Northwest Seasons! In between blog posts, visit Pacific NW Seasons on FaceBook, Twitter, and Instagram for more Northwest photos and outdoors news.    


ashley g said...

Gorgeous photos! I saw the sunrise on the way to work today and really wished I could have snapped some shots... I'm happy to see you got some for me. :)

JoJo said...

I miss Washington so much. :(

Suezy Proctor said...


The drive west was certainly worth it. I love the photos of the Olympics lit up! Thank you!

We have killer sunsets. We'd have to drive a ways to get a good shot, there are no shoulders or pull-overs on the roads here. But, heading west toward Decatur...a short distance from Madison...when the sun sets, are the biggest sunsets I've ever seen. I'll work on this and send you a few.

Nice morning with you!

jill said...

hey Ashley, thanks! Glad I could capture what you wish you had, but I'm sure you have good images in your mind. Aren't colorful sunrises wonderful?

JoJo! You're back! I was a little worried about you since I hadn't seen a comment in a few weeks. Happy spring! I'm glad I can help you see the Northwest while you're so far away.

Suezy, I hope to see some of your southern sunsets!

Anonymous said...

Nice shots, Jill. Sometimes the sky is a wonder to behold on my drive south on I-5.


Laura said...

Beautiful, Jill! I almost always sleep through sunrise these days. One of my goals this year is to go on a sunrise hike. I know it'll be such a challenge to get up early enough, but I'm sure it would be worth it!