A once in a lifetime sunset?

2018-08-09 20.37.34

It’s been a curious year in the UK, weather wise, with an early, mild spring interspersed by sudden cold snaps that may (or may not) have had a profound impact on pollinators, and then a summer that was hotter and drier than any in living memory.  There’s been some amazing thunderstorms and torrential rains, and weeks when there was no rain at all.  Then, on Thursday evening, as Karin and I were coming back from a walk around Abington Park (via a quick stop in the pub) the heavy, rain-bloated skies conspired with the setting sun to produce, for a brief period, a display of light and clouds that was more vibrant and gorgeous than any I’ve ever seen.  The sky reflecting from the rain-soaked pavements of Northampton added further drama to what may well be a once in a lifetime experience.

Here are a few shots I managed to take using the camera on my phone; I’ve not altered the colour or played with images in any way, but they do partial justice to the quality of the light that evening.

2018-08-09 20.31.46

2018-08-09 20.38.56

2018-08-09 20.35.55

2018-08-09 20.32.46

13 thoughts on “A once in a lifetime sunset?

  1. hilarymb

    Hi Jeff – what amazing shots … thanks so much for sharing your wonderful sky … incredible to see – lovely and stunning … cheers Hilary

  2. philipstrange

    Beautiful pictures! Coincidentally, we went to one of the nearby beaches last week to watch the sunset over Burgh Island. It was a good one but not spectacular. On the way home, however, the western sky turned the most amazing reddish pink, something I dont recall ever having seen before.

    You also mentioned the potential effect of the winter/spring weather on pollinators. I read a book review recently where a reference was made to the effect of the snow depriving honeybees of dandelions and leading to a loss of colonies. Do you know anything about this?

  3. Gina Rackley

    Hi, I watched a sunset recently and the dust in the atmosphere created a lot of sunrays, more than I remember. I recall that amazing sunsets abounded after one particularly large volcanic eruption, the scattering of light from the low sun being enhanced by dust. Maybe this is an example of the continental fires throwing dust into the atmosphere and the air currents bringing it over us. Maybe?

    1. jeffollerton Post author

      That’s an interesting idea hat hadn’t occurred to me, I’d assumed that it was just the amount of water in the atmosphere. I’ll ask around, see what I can find.


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