Jonathan Stull | 03.23.2017

“Slowly the west reaches for clothes of new colors,” Rainer Maria Rilke once wrote, "which it passes to a row of ancient trees. You look, and soon these two worlds both leave you, one part climbs toward heaven, one sinks to earth.”

Sunrise and sunset have long inspired artists of all types and styles to interpret the prismatic cast of pastels over Rilke’s ancient trees, which could easily be exchanged for Monet’s Venice, or Theresa Bernard’s River Seine, or Matt Groening’s desert. The Maya honored the setting sun by building El Castillo, a pyramid whose steps cast the shadow of the serpent god Kukulkan at the spring and fall equinox, and prehistoric Britons traveled from all parts of the island to celebrate the changing seasons at Stonehenge.

These days, those colors are more likely to be captured by cameras than paintbrushes or stone monuments, and at the most iconic sunrise and sunset locations in the wild places of the world, photographers jockey with one another like newscasters for the best angle of the sun at the intersection of two worlds. Hues of gold and umber, of vermillion and ochre and auburn drape the landscape in otherworldly color that may last just seconds—and perhaps become the photographic capture of a lifetime. This vibrant display is a product of scattering light that bends and refracts from oxygen and nitrogen in the atmosphere.

But for all we know, there are few experiences that compare to the momentary lapse between night and day.

For this edition of the #52WeekAdventureChallenge, we bring you the best places to climb or sink in the heavens.

Beaches and the Ocean

Mountains

Deserts

Viewpoints

Comments

Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.

You May Also Enjoy