Florida Keys

Green Flash Sunsets

Green Flash Sunsets

My father, late in life, became a globetrotting traveler. In the family, we referred to his worldwide explorations as a serious case of “Sand In The Shoes”. He would just get on a plane and go. Go to Prague, Galapagos Islands, Antarctica you name it.  If it looked interesting, he was there.  We would normally not find out about these travels until he returned.  A common phone call among “the sisters” would be, “Where’s Dad?!”  We would caution “Dad what would happen if you had some mishap or became ill while halfway around the world?” His standard reply was “Then put me in a box and ship me back, I will have died happy.”  He would often come to visit me in The Keys.  I once sent him an invitation printed on the side of a painted coconut that I popped in the mail. You can buy and mail coconuts like postcards here, they sell them locally. He arrived right away after that, carrying the coconut for admission. On one of our adventures, trotting around the Island, he told me about “Green Flash Sunsets”.  He had seen one once in Hawaii.

A Green Sunset is a brief flash of green light that can be seen just as the sun sets. They are rare and unpredictable. A phenomenon that presents itself under the right conditions.  Favorable conditions for viewing this include no clouds, no moisture, and an expanse of ocean. This flash of light is truly only visible for a moment.  A quick clip, if you blink you may well miss it.  You are not supposed to stare at the Sun watching for it – too hard on the eyes. You are to look at the Sun just as it dips below the horizon. Green Sunsets occur because the atmosphere causes the light from the Sun to separate, or refract, into different frequencies.  Just as the Sun slips below the horizon – light is dispersed through the Earth’s atmosphere.

Sunsets are grandly or quietly celebrated everywhere by everyone in The Keys.  At home, in bars, marinas, sitting in your yard.  I’ve sat in the parking lot at the grocery store to watch the sunset.  Why not, it’s the perfect moment of meditation. If you’re wise you will take this small amount of time out of a day to watch. There is no place more exciting to watch sunsets than in Key West at Mallory Square. Their daily Sunset Carnival is completely unique.  On good days the sunsets are colorful and vibrant – without equal. You can watch Mallory Square Live Web CAM online.  Everyone gathers there to watch Tourists and Locals.  Street performers will entertain you while waiting.  I have seen trained cats from the Animal Rescue Center performing stunts and feats.  Clowns on stilts, jugglers. musicians, tightrope walkers, and street vendors, to name a few other things. At actual sunset, all become quiet as the crowd observes the setting Sun and then, Mother Nature gets a standing ovation.

I have gone to more than many sunset parties, celebrations, and beaches to watch the sunset.  I am waiting for, but still have not seen, a Green Sunset. I know they’re out there. I know and have met people who have seen them.  I’ll keep waiting and watching!

P.S. Here’s hoping I am not still waiting because I have blinked….

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