Sunset photography

Beach. Otter. Green flash.


Life consists of stories. Science is part of life. Don’t deny that. Enjoy it. 🙂


There are moments, which you will treasure for the rest of your life. When I sat there the other day, at that little place on that little beach I know, I felt a wonderful calmness sweeping over me.

My camera was set up, the Sun was on its way down. One could see the sky slowly gaining warmer and warmer colors. These were going to be good images.

I was positively at peace. Listening to the ocean, watching the animals under a clear sky, the seagulls, the terns, and that otter wandering up along the quay from the sea, I knew that this was a special moment.

The otter stopped, sniffed the air. He seemed to nod at me before he went his way and up into the village behind me.

“Thank you, Oscar.” I heard myself say. “Nice to meet you, too.”

‘He’? That otter didn’t have a name! I remember thinking before I dozed off.

[musical break: building from utter calmness to utter hurrying]

I woke up. It took a couple of seconds for me to understand my surroundings:

Time had not progressed very much, I realized; but the Sun was about to disappear behind the horizon! How? Huh? I started fumbling a little but found my fingers, indeed my hands, numb from the cold. The only thing I managed to do during these first couple of moments was to disturb the seagulls. Instinctively, I turned on my camera and pressed the button, not yet willing to admit that I had missed what I had come here for.

“Setting’s ain’t right!” I heard myself say. “Shut up, Oscar!”

The otter did not make a reply but glided back into the ocean.


I took as many images as I could. Then I saw it. Then I woke up for real.


It was there for a moment, then gone again. I could not possibly have dreamt!


My mind raced. The scenery, all the birds in the air, Oscar splashing in the yellow-red light at the beach, I couldn’t let it not be photographed; but I did want to check. Had I caught it on camera?


In the end, I could not help myself any longer. I flipped through the images. I smiled. My heart raced. This was it!


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