"Little Penguin Parade"
One of our favorite sunset stories is the “Little Penguin Parade” of Phillip Island, Melbourne, Australia. Each night at sunset, a unique natural event takes place when thousands of little penguins hurriedly waddle up and across Summerland Beach to the safety of their homes in the sand dunes.
Native to Australia, and the smallest of their species at just 13 inches (33cm) tall, the little penguins leave their burrows about an hour before sunrise to spend the day at sea fishing before returning to the beach at sunset.
This daily parade of little penguins draws thousands of visitors to Phillip Island from around the globe. They line the observation boardwalks of the Nature Park every night at sundown to watch the penguins race up the beach back to their burrows. It’s just the most amazing home commute you’ll ever see, a magical experience, and all played out against the backdrop of the setting sun.
Many thanks to Alan & Judith Hartridge, Gloucestershire, England
Photo courtesy of Phillip Island Nature Park
"The Goddesses Of The Sunset"
The Hesperides, goddesses of the sunset, were three nymphs, daughters of Nyx (Night). They were entrusted with the care of the remote but idyllic Garden of the Golden Apples in the extreme west. Gaia (Earth) had produced the apples as a gift given to Hera when she married Zeus. The glow of these apples was regarded as the source of the golden light of sunset, a phenomenon created to celebrate the wedding of the two heavenly gods. Apples, in Greek tradition, were a symbol of love.
"The Garden of the Hesperides", 1891-2 by Frederic Lord Leighton (1830 - 1896)
Photo courtesy of The National Museum, Liverpool
The "Sunset" Apple
Fall. Orchards. Apples. Sunsets.
Yes, there is a sunset apple. “Sunset” is a delicious, award-winning dessert apple. The fruits have a golden skin flushed with an orange blush and red striping giving them the appearance of mini sunsets. The firm, aromatic flesh has a superb flavor and is sweet, crisp and juicy. Sunset Apples are ready to pick and eat through September and October depending on where you live.
The variety was first grown from a Cox's Orange Pippin seed in 1918 by Mr. G.C. Addy in the county of Kent, England and was given the name "Sunset" in 1933. The Royal Horticultural Association awarded the apple their Award of Garden Merit in 1960 and 1993, and a First Class Certificate in 1982.
Harvest. Crunch. Munch. Enjoy.
Photo courtesy of Preston Bissett Nurseries
1972-73, Oil on wood, 33 ½ x 36 ¼"
The interesting thing about Howard Hodgkin is that he isn’t an abstract painter. He creates representations of moments so they are “of something” even when it can be hard to work out exactly what.
This painting is of a spectacular sunset, a “moment” he recalled from his travels in India. He transformed his memory of the setting sun into a dramatic piece of art using bold colors to evoke the distinctive character of India: forest green, fiery red, earthy brown and deep ocher. On top of the swathes of color, he used patterns, dots and stripes to create the moods of nature.
The painted frame is one of Hodgkin’s signature motifs, both encasing the subject and drawing attention to the work as an object. This motif was enhanced further by his use of wood as a support instead of canvas, which also allowed him to apply many layers of paint over long periods of time. It just makes the whole thing so beautiful to look at.
Photo courtesy of Howard-Hodgkin.com
Luke Skywalker’s home in "Star Wars" is the desert planet of Tatooine with its dramatic twin sunsets, created by the planet orbiting two stars. So far, only uninhabitable gas-giant planets have been identified circling such binary stars, and many researchers believed rocky planets like ours couldn’t form there. But now, mathematical analysis and simulations have shown that Earthlike, solid planets such as Tatooine may actually exist and could even be widespread.
“Tatooine sunsets may be common after all,” concludes the recent study by astrophysicists Benjamin Bromley of the University of Utah, and Scott Kenyon of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. “Our main result is that outside a small region near a binary star, either rocky or gas-giant, planet formation can proceed in much the same way as around a single star. In our scenario, planets are as prevalent around binaries as around single stars.”
For more on this fascinating research, visit the University of Utah
Photo courtesy of Lucasfilm