Photo Essay by Brady Beck

With 2020 upon us, we are taking a moment to embrace the simplest gift of a new year, the gift we receive twice daily: the sunrises and sunsets opening our days and tucking us gently into night. 

Brady Beck captures a series of both in a photo essay we can embrace any time of day, while we sit at our desks, relax by a fire or read by the light of a lamp just before turning over in sleep. As Beck says, 

“I think most of us take for granted that the sun rises every day. Depending on weather conditions and our vantage point, each one is unique. Don’t worry if you missed the sunrise this morning. There will be another tomorrow.”

Here’s to 365 sunrises and accompanying sunsets. Let us take a moment to enjoy the gift of nature and unwind in a show of big-sky magic. 

Shrimp boat off the coast of North Carolina getting an early start on the day.
Longleaf pine and their intricate needle patterns always make for interesting backgrounds for the rising sun.

“A large drop of sun lingered on the horizon and then dripped over and was gone, and the sky was brilliant over the spot where it had gone, and a torn cloud, like a bloody rag, hung over the spot of its going. And dusk crept over the sky from the eastern horizon, and darkness crept over the land from the east.”― John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

Cloud formations on the horizon can often lead to the appearance of fire in the sky –
or they can block the view of the rising sun altogether.
A balanced mix of sunlight, soil, fire and rain lead to this beautiful scene from Richmond County.
Foggy sunrise in the Smokies with a female white-tailed deer grabbing a few more bites of grass before she returns to the woods for the day.