Capture the Seasons: In Sunsets

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As I emerge into the vibrant community of Travel Blogging, I’ve found myself recently participating in lots of various meme style posts lately. After sorting through my copious amounts of disorganised photos to capture the colour of my travels and then sorting through my favourite travel memories to pick my top 3 for the Blogger Relay, I was virtually ‘tagged’ by my amazing mate Melissa over at The Mellyboo Project to take part in the newest rendition of a photo series, Capture the Seasons, put on by those clever cats over at

Now as you may or may not know, I’ve spent the past 4 years living as an expat in New Zealand where the seasons are completely back-ass-wards to what I associated with seasons and months of the year. I still have to stop and really concentrate on when the longest and shortest days of the year are, and admittedly I will always get it wrong on the first attempt.

Also, 3 of my 4 expat years have been spent living in the Far North, with it’s sub-tropical climate earning it the name “the Winterless North”. This also sends my brain for an initial tailspin, as I am ingrained to associate ‘north’ with ‘North Pole’ and ‘freeze me arse off’. But alas, just as I realised I am completely used to driving on the left hand side of the road now, I now also think of the south as cold winters in Dunedin!

With my local climate not showing too much differentiation besides less rain and more rain,  I put off trying to find photos that represent the seasons. It was in the ‘too hard basket’ so to speak.

And then, as I sat watching yet another glowing sunset, I thought back to the photos that I absolutely adore taking from my front deck – the sunsets! As an east coast girl from Nova Scotia, I’ve loved sunsets for a long time. But since living on 90 Mile Beach, on the New Zealand’s Wild West Coast, I’ve since developed a new understanding of the earth’s rotation.

I wouldn’t have noticed it anywhere else. But I have photographic proof, with Tauroa Point as a geographical reference of how much the sunset changes based on the seasons.

Without further ado, let me show you what I’m on about here.

I realise it is autumn/fall when…

May 2011 – making it’s way out from hiding
 …the days are getting shorter, and obviously earlier each day, but also brighter as the sun makes its way slowly north. Each clear night it displays itself in an epic show painting the sky astounding colours, all the while revealing more and more of itself over the water. School is just starting in February and the sun continues it’s magnificent migration into March, April and May, giving you just enough hope to hang onto some remnants and memories of summer.
I realise it is winter when…
July 2010 – midwater sunsets warm up my winter

…it feels like it constantly rains without end; until you get that one day where the clouds break and dissipate somewhere over the Tasman or the Pacific. The sky occasionally clears off enough to display the most blissful and serene sunset you can imagine, out in the middle of the vast sea. On fine days I have to race home from work (the whole 1.5 km commute) just to be sure I don’t miss that magical taste of tranquility.
I realise it is spring when…

October 2012 simplistic sunsets can be

…my evening run or commute home from after work activities gets extended later and later by daylight, as the sun slowly creeps it’s way south around the reef, subtly putting itself to sleep behind the hill.As much as I appreciate the extended evening light, each night I feel sad that the sun is disappearing further and further out of sight behind the hills.

I realise it is summer when…

December 2010 – Glad my folks got to enjoy this blazing sky for Christmas!

 the serene sunsets have long since disappeared behind the hills, leaving only smears of the fiery flames in the sky. But since it’s summer, there’s far too much else going on with spending days at the beach, roadtrips and adventures, exploration and relaxation to worry about what I can’t see. I know know those picturesque sunsets will return fast enough; there’s no need to rush away everything else I love about summer!

There you have it, folks! Nowhere else in the world have I consistently noticed such a drastic difference, but I’ll tell you what; I think it’s pretty cool! I absolutely love living at the beach, and now that we’re situated up on the hill, our new flat features some pretty funky sunrises out the bedroom window as well! You can check out some more awesome Ahipara sunsets here if you’d craving more eye candy.

Have you ever noticed a change in the suns’ position or any other uncommon indications of changing seasons? Let me know in the comments :)

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