As we head toward solstice and the sun sets ever further to the south, it becomes much easier to observe the last moments that the sun is peaking above the horizon – at least on those days with clear skies. I would like to capture a nice image of the green flash that can occur at sunset when atmospheric conditions are right, so yesterday afternoon I went out to observe the setting sun.
While waiting for the sun to start moving below the horizon, I noticed at least three different birds sounding like they were alarming below me (I was at the top of a small hill). I could not tell what was causing the issue for them, but shortly thereafter, a Red Squirrel noticed me and gave a bit of a scolding before settling down to make a snack of the Sitka Spruce seeds it found in a cone.
Unfortunately for my attempts to capture a green flash event, there was a layer of mid or upper-level stratus clouds out over Sitka Sound. The last direct rays of the sun faded slightly to a still-very-bright, but more diffused light from the clouds reflecting and/or obscuring the sun. What the clouds took away in terms of a chance to see the green flash, they more than made up for in their vivid yellows, oranges, pinks, and purples as the sun continued to drop further below the horizon.