Winter Sunrise, Jekyll Island, Georgia

February 19, 2014 at 4:22 am (fine art photography, Georgia, Georgia State Parks, Nature, Photography) (, , , )

Winter sunrise, Jekyll Island, Georgia

Winter sunrise, Jekyll Island, Georgia

We had the beach to ourselves this winter morning, before the sun crested the horizon, watching the vivid sky.  A few photographers came along later, when the best light was gone. Marilyn and I were piggybacking this sunrise photo session with a morning of counting birds for the Great Backyard Bird Count on Jekyll Island, GA.  We were going to do light painting after sunset, but we were too tired.  This boneyard – which is what they call a beach strewn with skeleton trees – will be a perfect place for that.  Another time.


Sunrises actually begin before the sun is visible.  Clouds begin to reflect the light, filtered into tangerine and goldenrod, for maybe 20 minutes before the sun winks over the horizon.


Sometimes the sky is filled with color.  On this morning, there was only a thin strip of radiance, but enough for us.  Enough to tint the water itself, and backdrop the skeleton trees.


These trees are remnants of the forest that had been here.  Erosion has extended the ocean’s edge, and in other parts of the island is widening the beach as sand is deposited by the ever-changing waves.


Once the sun appears, it’s only a matter of minutes to capture it in just the right spot before its intensity becomes too great, and the flaming clouds take on their daytime colors.


On this day the entire landscape was aglow.  The near-full moon was setting in the west (you can see it if you look at the above image) and the trees and sand were tinted coral.


There – I zoomed in so you can see it better.

St. Simons Light

St. Simons Light

The St. Simons Island lighthouse called attention to itself when it was just barely dawn…

St. Simons Light

St. Simons Light

…and it gets a standing ovation from the driftwood trees in the day’s first light.


Each lunar month there is one day when the near-full moon sets around sunrise.


These trees are losing the battle with the sea, but they do make a great frame for the departing moon.  Curtain call – next month.

Next:  Some Jekyll Island birds.  Stay tuned!  See Marilyn’s take on this trip in her blog, Adventures of a Vagabond Volunteer.

Photos and text copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre

Feel free to reblog or share


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  1. Pat said,

    These are some beautiful images. Great post!

  2. dinajohnston said,

    Beautiful shots! The color is amazing.

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