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Maui Twilight

Twilight: the soft glowing light from the sky when the sun is below the horizon, caused by the refraction and scattering of the sun's rays from the atmosphere.

I tend to wake up with the sun — whether I am at home in Phoenix or visiting Maui. In the early morning, Mother Nature can put on some spectacular light shows, starting with the subtle hues such as those reflected in Napili Bay seen here beyond the Gazebo.

Looking uphill toward Kapalua, the early morning riser may be rewarded with displays that simply leave you awestruck.

As the sun nears the eastern horizon, the color palette shifts adding longer wavelengths to the earlier reds and oranges.

If you are lucky, a cloud will dominate the sky in such a way as to catch those early rays — priceless.

The sun rises quickly in the tropical latitudes so that twilight and early morning light do not last long. Locals and tourists alike then pursue their favorite sun-filled activities on the ocean or on land.

Predictably, late in the day, we roll the tape backwards as the late afternoon light leads into twilight and eventually yields to a brilliant star show.

The sunset hour has long been a popular time for weddings and Kapalua Beach has become a favorite spot for many soon-to-be newlyweds. Most days, one can find a half dozen ceremonies being performed here.

Most have a Hawai`ian touch — the clothing, the leis and, in this case, it appears a Kahuna is going to perform the ceremony.

Some folks add a different type of Hawai`ian flair — sitting in the surf for their wedding photos. Others will write their names inside a heart drawn in the sand — then video capture a wave washing over the inscriptions and obliterating them. Of course, the cliché is to run the video backward when they share it with friends and family back home.

I do note that every ceremony, no matter how many people are participating, requires four things — the bride, the groom, someone to perform the ceremony and the photographer. The clothing may differ, they may have a horde of guests or none at all, but they always have that photographer.

It still strikes me as odd to see a fancy wedding dress at the beach — especially in sharp contrast to the groom with his casual attire and no shoes.

Eventually, the vows are exchanged and the photos taken — and the sun completes another day as it sinks into the Pacific Ocean — here in the gap between Lana`i (not visible) and Moloka`i (the island to the right).

When you are there, if you watch carefully (try not to stare at the sun), you may even catch that green flash the last second or so before the sun disappears below the horizon.

Then shift your gaze to the clouds such as these over Moloka`i that continue to catch the beautiful rays of the setting sun.

And every once in a while, you'll be rewarded with a sunset that lights up the sky. Life does not get any better than this.

Sadly, these are the last of the photos from my trip to Maui last September/October. I hope that you have enjoyed seeing them as much as I enjoyed sharing them with you. Hopefully, they have brought back good memories for those of you who have visited Maui before — and dreams of a future trip for those of you who have not yet been.

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com