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mazingerz88's avatar

How many times have you gazed at a sunset so far?

Asked by mazingerz88 (28970points) December 26th, 2021 from iPhone

I think it was a writer Paul Bowles who wrote a phrase in one of his books about the limited number of times we would be able to see sunsets in our lifetimes.

For me it’s true. In the past 30 years I probably saw sunsets around three times. Sure wish there’s more. To come.

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68 Answers

janbb's avatar

Hundreds probably.

chyna's avatar

At least hundreds. I have a spectacular view from my front window and look out at them almost daily. Also, when I used to camp, every sunset was really something to behold.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Realistically probably more than a thousand. If you’re saying hundreds I think you’re either spending too much time inside or are underestimating.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Hundreds maybe thousands and I’ve seen the Green Flash over forty times.

Inspired_2write's avatar

As the Sun sets on my side of the apartment block I see it often since I moved here in this building eight years ago.
Took numerous photographs.

Zaku's avatar

I’ve lived in several places where there was view west, so, many. I still treasure them.

jca2's avatar

Probably too many to count or to guess at. I can see a great sunset from my deck, and I live on a lake, so often in the summer, we’re down at the lake at sundown. Sometimes I’m driving home from shopping at sundown and looking at the beautiful sky, then, too.

Brian1946's avatar

I’d say almost every other day, since I was about 6 YO.

I’m 75, so that’s approximately 25,000.

kritiper's avatar

Too many times to count.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Couldn’t say for sure lets just say I have seen a few.

anniereborn's avatar

A ton I honestly don’t know, it’s a lot in 53 years.

Patty_Melt's avatar

So, so very many.
@Tropical_Willie I have never seen it at sunset, but I saw it once at sunrise. It was while waiting to muster in my navy days. It is stunning, the sight, but also the feeling it leaves you with. In fact, I believe I have watched more sunrises than sunsets.
There is something spiritual about watching a sunrise alone. The world is quiet, except nature. Birds, and trees, and flowers are celebrating these minutes to fully express themselves, and you feel during those minutes that you alone have possession of the world.

The novel I am currently applying finishing touches to, I have included once that two of my characters are watching a sunset, and see the green flash.
Alas, I haven’t seen many coastal sunsets. Maybe a couple during my brief stay in San Francisco.
Wouldn’t it be devine from a secluded mountain spot in Panama?

Someday.

Jons_Blond's avatar

Too many to count. I have a view from my living room. I also have a better view at the lake that’s just a block away and I often walk up just to view the sunset.

filmfann's avatar

Thousands. I used to live in the Oakland hills, with a great view of San Francisco from the kitchen window.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I was born in coastal California, spent many afternoons at the beach and my dad loved fishing in the ocean. Piers, shore break and boats many sunsets while fishing.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Sunrise every weekday taking the kids to school east of town.

JLeslie's avatar

Thousands. The sunsets in the Tampa Bay Area are spectacular by the way.

flutherother's avatar

I must have seen thousands of sunsets and I didn’t see each sunset only once. The cloud shapes and colours and the position of the sun constantly changed so that every five minutes it seemed there was a different sunset.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Right? It’s always stunning. I wish Imgur wasn’t broken so I could show some of my pictures.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

My avatar is a sunset Mrs Squeeky took behind our house here in BC.

janbb's avatar

Which begs the question @mazingerz88, why have you only seen three when the rest of us have seen hundreds and thousands?

Brian1946's avatar

In reference to us oldsters here: even if one of us saw 1,000 sunsets, that would only be about 1 sunset every 3 weeks.

mazingerz88's avatar

@janbb Lived mostly in cities since 1990. Worked indoors for decades during sunset I think. Rarely visited a beach and other places where I could watch the sun slowly sink at the horizon.

Jeruba's avatar

@mazingerz88, are you defining a view of sunset as being able to see the sun descend all the way to the horizon? I’ve seen a lot of those, much easier on the West Coast than the East. Sunset over the Pacific is often spectacular.

Give me the East Coast for sunrises, though.

But I’ve seen the sky go to sunset colors and the sun drop below sight even with city backdrops and wooded western views and sometimes from an airplane. I’ve had westerly office quarters and seen the sun go down over Building M.

I recently took a surprisingly charming photo of sunset over Home Depot.

Do you count those as sunsets or not? By my reckoning, they are.

Or are you speaking of pausing to actually view the setting of the sun from whatever vantage point you had, rather than just happening to notice it for a moment (or not)?

Jons_Blond's avatar

Good questions, @Jeruba.

Here’s some pics of the sunsets I see. One from my living room, one at the neighborhood lake, and last but not least our sunset view while camping.
https://imgur.com/gallery/lxydeS2

Brian1946's avatar

@Jonsblond

I like those photos, especially the bottom two. :)

Were they taken near Lake Michigan?

Jons_Blond's avatar

@Brian1946 Thank you! No, they are both inland lakes in central Wisconsin.

Mimishu1995's avatar

I live in a place with rather tall buildings. Most of the sky is obscured by the buildings. So no, I have never seen a real sunset before. That could also have something to do with the fact that I’m not patient enough to sit still and look at the sky to wait for sunset.

I would love to see someone describing how it looks like to me.

Jeruba's avatar

Oh, @Mimishu1995, that’s so sad! Can’t you go out in the country for a day or a weekend and plan to be someplace with a good western view by late afternoon?

Not all sunsets are spectacular. A great one usually involves some clouds. But if it’s too overcast or foggy or smoggy, there’s nothing to see.

There must be a million gorgeous sunset photos posted online, though. Have you ever looked at them?

Sunsets often turn up in movies, too.

Oh, and if you’re too impatient to just wait for a sunset, find a restaurant or coffee shop with a view and have a meal while the sun sets.

Several times I have been on a train at sunset. Something special about that.

Zaku's avatar

@Mimishu1995 Never? Wow. You should go watch one on a day where the sky is clear enough to see to the west, but when there are some nice clouds too. They’re all different, and some are spectacular.

They’re best in person, but you could also do Internet searches for pictures and videos of “beautiful sunset”. e.g. https://www.ecosia.org/images?q=beautiful%20sunset

Mimishu1995's avatar

@Jeruba @Zaku I watched a lot of sunsets in movies and the Internet. What I haven’t experienced is the sunsets in real life. I like the restaurant suggestion. I will try it some time in the future when I’m out of quarantine.

JLeslie's avatar

I just remembered the last sunset I paid attention to was on the DisneyWorld skyliner several weeks ago. Down on the ground I wasn’t even thinking of the time of day, but when we got up into the sky it happened to be sunset and we were traveling west. The sky was amazing with pinks and blues. A little Disney magic.

Good questions @jeruba.

mazingerz88's avatar

@Jeruba I’ve always thought of the sunset Paul Bowles wrote about as seeing the sun sink all the way down in the horizon.

I think that’s what he meant for it seems he was reflecting on most people’s lifetimes being too hectic and too short that having the chance to see or maybe even pay close attention to a sun setting recognizing its splendor could be rare.

I could be wrong though. I have to read his work again.

Brian1946's avatar

Upon further reflection: while I’ve seen skies illuminated by our setting sun awfully often, I’ve only seen the sun itself sink below the horizon about 30 times. :p

Dutchess_III's avatar

Sunsets last 30 minutes or more. They start long before the sun actually sets. They’re best when clouds are in the air.

Jeruba's avatar

I’ve watched the whole thing unfold over the ocean from San Diego, Asilomar beach, Pacific Grove, Watsonville, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Half Moon Bay, Point Montara, and twice on a train from San Luis Obispo to San Jose.

My first sunset over the ocean, though, was in Massachusetts, looking westward from the tip of Provincetown toward the eastern coast of Mass., which was far enough to be over the horizon. That was a thrill. I grew up on the East Coast, and the ocean was always east of us.

I also saw many a setting sun over the horizon during my years in Iowa. There’s a lot of horizon in Iowa.

JLeslie's avatar

A little off topic: Sky shot Facebook group. Lots of sunsets. Recently, some people posted amazing aurora borealis shots. https://www.facebook.com/groups/511535389007197/?ref=share

Nomore_lockout's avatar

Don’t count them, just try to enjoy them. Can’t beat sitting on the porch with a cup of coffee, and watching the sunset.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Mimi, I am going to attempt your suggestion that someone describe it for you. First, think of which type of clouds you tend to see most often. Lumpy, fluffy ones, or straightish slivers?
Some people prefer summer sunsets, but I prefer autumn. I have no coast, so the sun sinks behind trees for me. In autumn, the best view occurs. Now, an hour or so before the sun sets, the sky takes on an attitude. In the east, near the horizon, the blue begins to darken, still blue, but closing in. To the west, the light blue begins to turn peach colored, or a sort of breathless orange. The closer the sun gets to the horizon, the more colors ooze in. There will be pinks, and a couple shades of orange, layered together, and blending with no defined lines, like watery pastel paints on paper. If there are clouds, you have a better chance of getting shades of purple, and even more pinks. Occasionally, you will see thin lines, like they have been drawn, of shiny gold. Somehow it looks metallic. I have seen times when huge, mountainous, clumpy clouds are miles tall, and flat on the bottom. They look so heavy, you might wonder why they don’t crash to earth. They are so dense, the parts facing you will vary from icy white, to deep blue, and gray. The smooth bottom glows pink, violet, orange in long swaths. The sky visible below is blue, lavender, pink, and red. Viewed from here, you see these colors behind distant trees. They have dropped most of their leaves, you see dark branches and trunks appearing like veins against the soft, pastel strokes behind. The remaining leaves flutter, giving the impression of glitter as light dances by their twitches. Finally, the colors deepen, crimson, violet, tangerine, blue almost blackened. The sun itself is the only bright left, just before it disappears. Slowly, the colors slip away, leaving only a narrow strip of teal before going full black.
One last rustle of brittle leaves before I go inside to refill my cup of tea.

raum's avatar

Grew up near the beach.
Easily in the thousands.

Jeruba's avatar

Where in literature is the line that goes something like this: “Nobody saw sunsets like that until [——] painted them.”? I have an idea it was Oscar Wilde, maybe in The Picture of Dorian Gray, but I can’t bring it to mind. It was speaking of how art influences and even creates our perceptions of reality and the world.

raum's avatar

@Jeruba Oh no. Brain itch. I know what you’re referring to, but can’t remember who wrote that either.

janbb's avatar

@Jeruba I’ve been looking for that quote too but can’t find the right key words to nail it. However, in searching I did find this lovely collection of sunset paintings:

https://www.widewalls.ch/magazine/sunset-paintings

Jeruba's avatar

Is it that speech of Lord Henry early in the Wilde book? Come on, guys, we can find it. Then we can give @mazingerz88—and @Mimishu1995—another perspective on sunsets.

It sticks in my mind that the name of the painter he refers to begins with V, and I’m pretty sure it’s an Italian name. But (sigh) maybe not.

janbb's avatar

Well, it sounds like someone has to peruse The Portrait of Dorian Gray to see if it’s there.

But now, I’m searching for Oscar Wilde quotes on art but nothing similar to that is showing up as yet.

Jeruba's avatar

@janbb, I reread it a few years ago and was startled at how different it seemed from when I was younger and more innocent. I was still struck by the discourses on art, even though I couldn’t altogether subscribe to them.

It’s The Picture, by the way.

Uh-oh, thread drift. Sorry, @mazingerz88.

mazingerz88's avatar

^^No I’ve always wanted to read Dorian Gray. Now is a good time. Lol

I also would one day watch again that movie adaptation of Bowle’s book with Debra Winger and John Malkovich.

Jeruba's avatar

@mazingerz88, looking forward to your report on painted sunsets.

FragileLayers's avatar

Every chance I get but it’s such a rare occurrence.

Brian1946's avatar

@FragileLayers

Do you find that the negative effects of those accursed ultraviolet rays, are significantly reduced at sunset?

Dutchess_III's avatar

My son’s house faces east so he catches every sunset. Only thing between him and the sunset is a field.

JLeslie's avatar

^^West. Unless, you mean his backyard.

FragileLayers's avatar

@Brian1946 the sunset to me is closure of the day. Without that, I feel a tad restless.

Brian1946's avatar

@FragileLayers

Would you prefer endless night?

FragileLayers's avatar

@Brian1946 indeed I would, at times.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Not since I was a teenager @Brian1946.

Brian1946's avatar

What question are you answering, @Dutchess_III?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Brian1946 the.question “How many times have you gazed at a sunset so far?”
My answer is lots. My son’s house faces west so he sees even more.

jca2's avatar

@Dutchess_III: You haven’t seen a sunset since you were a teenager?

Brian1946's avatar

Lmao- I wonder how this is going to turn out.

mazingerz88's avatar

Sunrise Sunset. Most beautiful song about sunrise and sunset I think.

Forever_Free's avatar

Tens of Thousands.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Out of what field did that come from @jca2? I see sunsets every night.

jca2's avatar

@Dutchess_III: No field. Exactly what you wrote above:

“Not since I was a teenager @Brian1946.”

Dutchess_III's avatar

I was talking to Brian about a comment he made.

Brian1946's avatar

@Dutchess_III

To what comment are you referring?

Dutchess_III's avatar

When you asked FragileLayers if she’d prefer endless nights.

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