Article by Marie C. Dimino
As the open sky, filled with varying shades of splendid blue and billowing white clouds, gives way to dusk, a natural palette spreads itself across the twilight skies crowning the heavens in all its glory. Sunsets often evoke deep emotion in people and many people look to sunsets for inspiration, reflection, or relaxation. Simply watching a sunset can bring your mind into an alpha state, captivating you and allowing you to easily slip into a theta state, which is a deep relaxation of the mind and soul. Theta is where ideas, visualizations, and suggestion are more likely to enter the subconscious mind and consciously we become less aware of what is going on around us. Artists, photographers, and poets have been drawn to sunsets since the beginning of time and looked to them for inspiration in creating beautiful music and art.
Civil Twilight is the brightest phase of twilight and occurs when the sun is no more than six degrees below the horizon. Colors will change quickly during civil twilight with sunset colors being frequently replaced with an entire new set of colors across the sky. As the temperature cools down, the colors cool down and in the absence of moonlight, some of the brightest stars and the planet Venus can be visible. As the sun sets, light travels through the atmosphere and molecules scatter blue and violet lights by refracting off the surface of the water. These lights go further than the eye can see causing pink, orange, and red hues to appear. When the air is clean and dry the horizon stays blue and the sun will be bright orange. Often during this type of sunset, a flash of green will appear for a brief second if the sun suddenly changes color. When the air has more dust or water small particles reflect light in all directions resulting in more reds and yellows and fewer pinks. On cloudy evenings light comes through and refracts off the moisture, resulting in spectacular images and sometimes the best light is seen five to twenty minutes after the sun sets when the light catches the edge of the horizon. Civil Twilight gives way to Nautical Twilight when the sun is between six and twelve degrees below the horizon, and it is during this time that the last light disappears from the sky. Astronomical Twilight occurs as the sky darkens and color ceases from the sky, occurring when the center of the sun is eighteen degrees below the horizon. After eighteen degrees, it is considered night.
As beautiful warm tones are cast across the horizon this evening pause for a moment to take it all in and if you’d like a relaxing place to watch the sun set head over to one of the following:
- Alfred McKethan/Pine Island Park (10840 Pine Island Drive, Spring Hill, FL 34607) is a 3-acre park on the Gulf of Mexico that includes a beach/swimming area, picnic tables, shelters, barbecue grills, observation point, volleyball court, playground and concession stand pavilions, restrooms, playground, picnic tables, water, electricity, and grills. Pine Island is open 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. and there is a parking fee of $5 per car (reduced in the evening).
- Linda Pedersen Park at Jenkins Creek (6300 Shoal Line Blvd., Spring Hill, FL 34607) is open sunrise to sunset. It is a 135-acre park connected by an aluminum boardwalk to Jenkins Creek Park, across the street. The forty-foot-high observation tower is easily accessible and offers a panoramic view of the marsh and look out over the Gulf of Mexico. You can relax and sit on the bank or fish while the kids play on the playground and chances are good you will be able to catch a glimpse of some manatees. Linda Pederson Park features grills, picnic tables, pavilion, swimming area, playground, community building, showers, and restrooms.
- Bayport Park (4140 Cortez Blvd, Spring Hill, FL 34607) is a 7 acre park sitting on the Gulf of Mexico at the end of State Road 50 west that includes picnic tables, pavilions, barbecue grills, fishing pier, two boat ramps, and panoramic views. Bayport is open 24/7 and there is a parking fee.
- Jenkins Creek Park (6401 Shoal Line Blvd, Spring Hill, FL 34607) is a 3 acre park with natural freshwater springs, man-made canals, coastal marshes, uplands, and waterways leading to the Gulf of Mexico. It features a boat launch (small boat or canoes only), fishing pier, grill, picnic tables, and restrooms. Jenkins Creek Park is open 24/7.
About the Author: Marie C. Dimino is a poet and freelance writer who currently runs her Blog, Small Talk – Ideas of Worth, which displays a variety of her informative articles, and MardimArts.Com, where she creates customized, personal expressions. She is also a Contributing Writer for Suite101. Marie was affiliated with The C.R.O.P. Program in Delaware County, NY, as a Literary Artist. She helped set up after school workshops by writing stories for children K-3 and created storyboards based on her tales. She has recently relocated to Spring Hill from New York. Her passion for writing is poetically influenced by the world around her, and has been credited as “naturally capable of being able to see the beauty in all things.” Check out her blog at: http://smalltalk-ideas-of-worth.blogspot.com