Tag Archives: sunset

Sunset at Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge: Highlight of the trip

Earlier this month we visited family and friends in Cape Cod, New York City, and Philadelphia.  I’m still merrily processing images from the trip, but today I want to share a highlight.

For our last night in Massachusetts we decided to visit Chatham, a small town at the “elbow” of Cape Cod. There’s a lighthouse there1, a bunch of restaurants and little shops (most of which were sadly closed for the winter), and the start of Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is made up of a string of sandy barrier islands consisting of more than 7,500 acres of protected habitat; most of these islands are only accessible by ferry, but the northernmost edge of the refuge is accessible by car and a short walk.

We got to the refuge in time to walk down to the beach and enjoy the sunset. I’ll post more about the day in an upcoming post, but suffice to say that it was a gorgeous beach where our only companions were birds and a few folks off in the distance. Best of all, the sunset was spectacular:

Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge is in Chatham, MA at the elbow of Cape Cod; this was taken just before sunset from the beach accessible from the Monomoy headquarters.  The low clouds tinged with fiery red from the sunset, the golden yellow of the sun setting in the sky, the silhouetted house, the leafless winter trees, and the calm ripply water reflecting it all made the sunset tremendously beautiful.  And I got to enjoy it all with good friends I hadn't seen in nearly a year; it was a perfect sunset. (Marc C. Perkins)
Fire and water: sunset at Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge.

Sharing this sunset with dear friends was a great way to end our visit to Massachusetts. Here’s to you, Marin and Steve!

1 That’s enough to make me love a town.

Sunset at Newport Back Bay

Newport Back Bay is a relatively unknown1 jewel of coastal Orange County. At only a few miles long and half a mile wide at most, this estuary is relatively small. It’s also packed in between Newport Beach mansions houses, some of which overlook the wetlands from bluffs that line it. However, there is no major development inside the majority of the back bay, which is home to plants, birds, kayakers, and lots of other wildlife.

Looking towards the eastern bluffs from a roadside stop on Back Bay Drive in Newport Back Bay.


I’ve loved going to Newport Back Bay for years. It’s a great place to bike or jog, as there’s a paved trail looping around it2, and it’s a good place to go for bird watching (though I think Bolsa Chica is generally preferred by bird photographers).  What’s neat about this area is that one moment you’re driving through fully developed Newport Beach and Irvine (Fashion Island Shopping Center and UC Irvine are only minutes away), and then the next you’re walking, biking, or driving along a one-lane road that meanders along the side of a beautiful coastal wetlands.

A few nights ago I went there to watch the sunset and experiment with some post-sunset techniques. The sunset was gorgeous:

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