Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Mendocino Sunset

A few miles north up the coast from Ft. Bragg in Mendocino County, CA, there is a beautiful sand beach at the mouth of a river canyon. This is one of my favorite sunset beaches in Mendocino. After a storm, the beach might be littered with beautiful driftwood. When the tide is moving, sheets of water float across the flat, wet sands, making pools that mirror the rocks and sky out to sea.

The sun falls relentlessly into the ocean, hissing red and orange. The wet sands echo the colors, reflecting in water waves and pools. For awhile, the cliffs are made gold in the amber light. Then the also blue and fade to black silhouettes under a pale sky.

At the top of the cliffs, there is a house standing behind wind-swept pines. Further out on the ledge, just over the edge of the water, stands a smaller guest house. The surf pounding the cliffs at high tide must make this guest house shudder. But what a wonderful little house it would be for a writer or an artist to have their studio in. So close to the ocean, with views of whales spouting offshore, the wind and the sky, seabirds floating by at eye-level. A small wood-burning stove to take off the chill. A writing desk in front of the large picture windows. A rocking chair before the long view. Every time you looked up from your work, the ocean's immensity would be revealed. For me, this would be a perfect studio, filled with constant inspiration, no matter the weather.

The fading light reflecting off the window glass of the cliff house. Sky going from pink and gold to deep indigo, still with edges of pink and rose. The rising wind, chill and wet, off the sea. The darkening sky. Eventually you have to go home, pack your gear away in the car, drive off into the dusk, headlights making bright tunnels under the eucalyptus stands lining the highway, where it curves down a vale, twists around, and emerges again into the dusk.

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Blogger Elisabeth said...

I never cease to marvel at the way the sun seems to slip below the horizon, a sliver of light.

These photos are stunning, Art.

6:09 AM  
Blogger Art Durkee said...

Thanks, E.

I saw the green flash twice in the few days I was near the ocean, this trip. Twice! Like the photos, a matter of being in the right place at the right time.

11:08 AM  

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