I like to vary my landscape locations as much as my work schedule allows. This time of year, I can head right to Dune Road after work for sunset. I hoped to catch some surfers, but the ocean was pretty flat. The consolation tonight was that it was low tide, which means that if I headed down to Cupsogue outer beach, the seals might be hauled out on the sand bar, and sunset at the inlet is always nice, so I headed to Cupsogue
If you don't have 4-wheel drive and a county sticker, you park in the lot and start hiking. You can head over the dune to the ocean, or down the dirt road with views of the bay. The seals are on the bay side, so while I had a bit of light, I started down the road.
Off in the distance on the bay side, I noticed something white- which could have been a grocery bag or other litter, but it turned out to be a snowy owl! There was no way to get closer, and even less opportunity when it flew off to the mudflats, probably in search of dinner. Still, I took it as a good omen for sunset, which was my main goal.
Hiking further down, I saw the seals hauled out on the sand bar. They are a protected species, and if you'd like to learn more about them, or just learn how to view them without disturbing them, I suggest you sign up for a guided walk with CRESLI.org. It's really wonderful to see them, and we want them to feel safe returning here every winter.
Sunset time was approaching, and with that huge cloud near the horizon, I wasn't sure if it would pan out. I never actually got a clear view of the sun, but the sky across the inlet just got better and better! I managed to get one shot with the moon. The way the sky kept changing, if I had my tripod and a hamburger, I might still be there! Enjoy!
It turns out that owl really was a good omen. A Thursday night doesn't get better than this!