Contrasting Colors Wage a Turf War in the Morning Sky

Sky wages turf war

Sunrise and a blanket of clouds waged a turf war over Rockland Harbor on the morning of July 24, 2011 (Photo by Ann-Marie Trapani)

With the weather forecast calling for clear skies overnight, the family and I decided to rise and shine early on July 24th and take in a sunrise over Rockland Harbor.

Waking up at 4:15 am on Sunday morning, I looked out the window of our home and noticed a surprise – an envelope of formidable gray was reigning high above. Well, so much for the promise of a cloudless sky.

This type of scene would have normally caused me to embrace the enticing thought of going back to bed, but there were “cracks in the armor” of the cloud cover, which inspired a glimmer of hope that venturing out to water’s edge was still a worthwhile pursuit.

Driving in to Rockland we observed a long stretch of muted pink stretching across the eastern sky – a sight that finally banished the last of our doubts as to whether dawn had the potential to soak the sky and bay in a sea of color.

Rockland Breakwater Light

Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse flashed its familiar salutation every five seconds out over a colorful seascape (Photo by Ann-Marie Trapani)

Rubbing the last of the sleep from my eyes, I stayed the course and we arrived at the southwest side of Rockland Harbor about a half-hour ahead of morning’s big show.

The initial approach of sunrise was ushered in with generous amounts of pink splashed about the seascape as an armada of sailboats sat quietly at their moorings. Minutes later, this beautiful scene was doused – and nearly vanquished altogether from the sky, by a blanket of dark clouds passing overhead.

Despite the momentary change to the mood of the sky, the brilliance of sunrise was not to be denied.

A swathe of color flared-up once again on the horizon – this time more spectacular in nature than dawn’s first act as oranges and yellows now melded their delightful tones upon the reemerged pink firmament.

Rockland Harbor

The pastel colors of sunrise contrasted nicely with the passing dark clouds (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

The passing clouds still loomed ominously over the harbor at this point and appeared to be dropping rain just beyond Owls Head, but rather than their gloomy countenance ruining this artistic moment, the contrasts of dark blue and bright pastels complimented each other in a conflicted, yet tranquil manner.

The only showstopper for the family and me was a relentless legion of mosquitoes lurking in the still air, which eventually forced us back to our vehicle to watch the waning moments of morning radiance take one last bow.

By the time we surrendered our harbor positions to the dawns standing army, we had managed to take in the very best the sunrise had to offer, and besides, I was ready for a good cup of coffee.

As for the loss of sleep hours earlier, I made up for that too with a relaxing Sunday afternoon nap, so all is well that ends well! 🙂

Sea of pink at dawn

Sailboats sit quietly in a sea of pink at dawn (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

Sunrise kicks it up a notch

Sunrise begins to kick it up a notch on July 24, 2011 (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

The long view

The long view of drama in the sky (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)

The sun's rise is concealed

The sun's grand entrance is concealed behind a swathe of blue on the horizon (Photo by Bob Trapani, Jr.)


  1. Joan Jellison says:

    Ah, this is something I have not witnessed for myself. It is awesome as you have out done yourselves once again. Sure tugs at my heart strings.
    Thank you and I am glad you got your nap as I sure appreciate your loss of sleep. Your family will cherish these memories many years from now. Priceless memories.

  2. Kim Fahlen says:

    Wow! Do people really get up just to go experience a sunrise? [“Apparently”, she says to herself.] I shall try it one day soon; I really will. You surely were well rewarded. Beautiful, just gorgeous. Dreamy. Thank you.

  3. Josette d'Entremont says:

    Absolutely breathtaking Bob! Love the vibrant colors, the bay,the boats and of course the breakwater lighthouse (which was an amazing place to visit)! 🙂

  4. Gerry Braun says:

    Outstanding shots from Mother Nature. Thanks.

  5. Susan Thomas says:

    Outstanding pictures Bob…thank you for getting up so early in the morning…we do see this once and a while when the crows wake us up very early as the first rays of sun sneak over the harbor and light up the harbor. It is a very wondrous sight and never ceases to cause joy.

  6. Dave Lowe says:

    COOOOL Bob. Beautiful!
    Cap’n Dave

  7. Ron Foster says:

    All of these images and the words are wonderful, but Ann-Marie’s image with the light sending out it’s beacon is the best. You folks always share beautiful blessings that touch many hearts.

    Thank you,
    Ron in CT

  8. Norman Poindexter says:

    outstanding pictures of sunsets bob just beautiful thanks

  9. Marty Hudspeth says:

    Absolutly beautiful thank you

  10. Marla Rogers says:

    I have really got to make an effort to get up earlier. My hubby says I miss the best part of the day and your beautiful phots show he is right. Thank for sharing.

  11. Cherie Dale says:

    My Uncle Ernie sent this to me and it brings back great memories of visiting my Aunt Evelyn Dunton’s home in Rockland which was right on the water. How beautiful! You caught the colors perfectly. Thanks for sharing:) Cherie Dale, Jax, Florida and missing home when I view these spectacular photos!

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