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Chasing Sunrises in Portland, Maine


Sunrise over the Back Cove in Portland, Maine.

Lately I've become obsessed with catching the sunrise over the Back Cove in Portland - something I do almost every morning before work. Since I'm up at 5:00 a.m. and the sunrise is currently around 5:30, this gives me just enough time to drink a cup of coffee, throw on my sneakers and run down to the cove. This mad dash in the wee hours of morning may not be your idea of fun, but here are the reasons I love it:


  1. Sunrise viewings fit easily into just about any work schedule.

  2. You can watch the sunrise from just about anywhere.

  3. Sunrises/sunsets are immune to the dull colors of the shoulder seasons.

  4. Chasing sunrises gives rise to feelings of adventure, awe, appreciation...the good feelings are endless.

If the idea of an early morning adventure that awakens your soul excites you, I'm about to share some websites for finding the best sunrises near you.


If you're more of a night owl and prefer the idea of sunsets, these resources are also for you.


If you're someone who'd rather look at pretty sunrise pictures from the comfort of your couch, I've got you covered. Read on.


Sunrise over Back Cove in Portland, Maine

The phrase "Seen one, seen them all" does not apply to sunrises. Each and every one is SO different! It's one of the reasons I'm motivated to get out the door around 5:15 each day. I never know what kind of painted sky will be waiting for me! Not only that, the colors during a sunrise will change multiple times in a short period. Here's an example from one morning recently:



I'm not one to plan ahead or use websites to determine the predicted quality of each day's sunrise before heading out my front door. I'm far too spontaneous for that and also love the element of surprise. As long as it's not raining, I head down to the cove.


But I do have a neighbor who loves to photograph sunsets, and he is a good planner. Here are the websites he uses to plan for his sunset adventures.


  1. For predicting the quality of the next sunrise/sunset, check out Sunset Wx


2. For planning locations for sunrise/sunsets, check out The Photographer’s Ephemeris

This does require an account to login, but it's free. It's also available as an iPhone app for $10.


If you are interested in joining me for a sunrise walk, I am planning that very thing for the morning of June 14th. This event will be part of the Maine Trail Coalition's Love Maine Trails Month. Details here. Hope to see you there!



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