Sun rising above a tree
CFFC,  Landscape,  Themed galleries

Gallery: our fire returns

Every ancient mythology placed significant focus on our sun, recognising it as our essential source of light, heat, and life. Without it we would not exist, nor would anything on this planet. Today we understand the science behind the phenomenon, but to the ancients the reappearance of the sun each morning after the hours of darkness must have seemed like a daily miracle.

Egyptians for instance believed that Ra, the god of the sun, travelled across the sky each day in his fiery ship. At night he would travel through the underground world, sailing the River of Darkness, and fighting off monsters. They celebrated each sunrise, when he emerged from the underworld having conquered the monsters to herald the start of a new day.

Many other religions saw the sun being pulled in a chariot by a god. For the Ancient Greeks it was the god Helios riding his fiery chariot from one side of the sky to the other. For the Romans Apollo performed the same task. In Norse mythology, Sol and Mani were the Sun and Moon, or more precisely, the beings who drove the Sun and Moon in their courses through the sky.

It is at sunset and sunrise that our sun looks most like what it is, a ball of fire. But as sunsets seem to be more photographed I have chosen in this gallery to concentrate on sunrises. We may no longer share the beliefs of the ancients. But nevertheless the dawn of each new day is a special moment, symbolising a fresh start; a blank piece of paper; a new page in the diary or blog!

This is my response to Cee’s CFFC Fire challenge; I couldn’t think of anything more fiery than the sun!

Chobe

Some of the best sunrise I have seen and photographed were in Botswana’s Chobe National Park. It’s always necessary to get up early on safari, to enjoy the best animal sightings, but the bonus if you are lucky will be a spectacular sunrise. These photos were taken on three consecutive mornings spent in the park.

Thar Desert

Staying at a luxury camp in Rajasthan’s Thar Desert we rose early and climbed the large sand dune that loomed above the camp. The reward was a lovely sunrise over the desert and the tents below us.

Uzbekistan

I had done the same some years earlier at our yurt camp in the Uzbek desert; I think it was memories of this sunrise that drove me up that dune in the Thar!

Sun just peeping above a dark horizon
Desert sunrise in Uzbekistan

Sine Saloum Delta

Sometimes the colours of sunrise are more muted, soften by haze or particles in the atmosphere. Such were the sunrises I witnessed while staying at Souimanga Lodge in Senegal, but just as lovely in their way.

Pale lilac sunrise over water and palm trees
Pale sunrise over palm trees
Pale sunrise over palm trees and water

Souimanga Lodge sunrise

So, are you a sunrise or a sunset person? Or, like me, both?!

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