We are in a hotel in Daytona, Florida for a few days to enjoy the grandeur of the ocean, explore the beach and take in the salty air. I hate getting up early, especially when I am on vacation, but today I awaken just before sunrise. I get up out of my comfortable bed, grab my camera and walk to peek out the window that faces the Atlantic Ocean and beach.
It is predawn. The ocean is calm with gently rolling waves. The Moon is high in the black sky yet there is dull red hue on the horizon where the ocean meets the heavens. It is a sign that a new day is about to begin. When the Sun’s rays penetrate the distant atmosphere, the horizon becomes dynamic. The dull red-brown twilight melts into a fiery orange-gold dawn. The dark blue sky transforms into cerulean blue.
Diurnal wildlife awaken from their night slumber. Pelicans glide over the rolling waves hunting for fish and small flocks of sanderlings fly to the wake zone to forage for food. Ruddy turnstones toss sargassum in the wrack deposited by the early morning high tide. People are active too. A small group gathers at the beach front to witness the sunrise as a girl jogger dressed in spandex sprints along the ocean’s edge. Couples walk on the beach, holding hands, enjoying the tranquil morning.
Then the Sun bursts through the horizon in a blaze of fiery colors. It is a surreal scene – golden yellows and crimson reds bounce off the mirror-like ocean and clouds reflect pink tints. The Sun seems to rise quickly in the eastern sky as it gives birth to a new day. It will not be long before people clad in bathing suits pour onto the beach with cars, beach umbrellas and chairs to enjoy the beach. The shore birds will leave to find quieter places to forage and pelicans will fly further out in the ocean to find food.
Pleased that I awoke early to see the dawn of a new day, I am inspired to write this blog and take photographs of the morning splendor. But words and photographs cannot capture the picturesque and magnificent sunrise. You will have to experience it yourself to appreciate it and to ponder on how precious it is to be on this planet we call Earth.