Sun’s Last Gasp – Sunset in Santa Cruz Mountains

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This photograph is from Russian Ridge Open Space, in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. The Santa Cruz Mountains are located in the Bay Area, on the peninsula. To me, they feel the Appalachian Mountains than the other western mountain ranges, like the Rockies or Sierra Nevadas. Instead of tall jagged peaks, they are gentler, shorter, and more uniformly vegetated. But these mountains are an area of extreme tectonic activity, so maybe that will change in a couple million years.

I still remember vividly when I took this photograph. I was photographing a sunset from this location at this time of year for the first time. As such, the path of the setting sun caught me off guard. I had misjudged where it would set, and consequently also misjudged the locations that could see the sun. (The sun passed behind some trees from the vantage at my pre-chosen location). I was looking around, trying to find spots of sunshine which meant that area could see the sun, and sprinting towards them. However, as the sun continued to set, the locations kept moving around. As a result, I was just running around like a chicken with its head cut off. If someone had been observing me, I must have been quite the funny sight to watch. Luckily, I found a good spot just moments before the sun disappeared behind the distant fog bank.

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