Summertime in Australia is drawing to a close. It’s been hot, dry and seemingly endless here in the eastern states. At the end of each day the sun disappears below the horizon and finally temperatures begin to lower from searing highs into the Celsius 40s.
As this final summer week begins, I take a moment to look back on the most dramatic sunsets I have been fortunate to have witnessed while living on Tugalong Road, in Canyonleigh.
Our home site on a high ridge between two rivers, the Wingecarribee and the Wollondilly. The sky is wide and open, with extensive views towards the west. In summer the sunsets are incredibly diverse and on some nights in particular can be very colourful.
If there has been rain, muted mauve pastels light up the sky as the sun disappears over the horizon. If there has been dry wind, dust that hangs in the air creates a burnt orange hue. If there is an active bushfire, a blood red sky speaks of the dangers burning somewhere nearby, threatening homes and lives.
Adding to the effect are clouds: the lowering sun lights up an ever-changing vision of ethereal forms, displaying various shades of colours, depending on their density and height above the land. The diversity of cloud forms combines with changes in atmospheric conditions, producing an infinite variety of sunsets.
Most cameras have a sunset setting, which captures the subtleties of colour and shade, even in low light. Here I have selected a gallery of the most beautiful sunsets I have seen, over a period of six summers.
Sunset is one of nature’s most incredibly magical displays; a wonder of light and form impossible for man to create, and equally impossible to ignore. Sunset is a quiet time of day to reflect on ways we can best protect our precious climate from harmful change.