Once you’ve seen a Green Flash you’ll never again go wrong in matters of the heart.
Or so it’s said on Valentine’s Day – and any other Floriday!
The crowed heaved a collective sigh as the last tip of the sun sank beneath the water.
“POP!” exploded the briefest flash of green as the rim of the orange ball disappeared.
Sunsets are among the best – and cheapest – assets of our magnificent Florida. And, yes, the green flash exists but not every day and not everyone can see it. It’s an easy walk to the beach – and sunset every day – from our luxurious beach vacation homes. The sunset happens every day of the year!
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To see the Green Flash one has to be patient. Even the slightest blink of they eye and you’ll miss it. The sky, too, has to be cooperative. Any wisp of a cloud will block the flash.
But it exists…it just takes time.
“The green flash is an optical phenomenon that you can see shortly after sunset…,” explains EarthSky in a formal and scientific way. “It happens when the sun is almost entirely below the horizon, with the barest edge of the sun – the upper edge – still visible. For a second or two, that upper rim of the sun will appear green in color. It’s a brief flash of the color green – the legendary green flash. It’s really quite exciting to see, especially if you’ve been looking for one.”
But to us Floridians – and visitors alike – it is among the most romantic and mythic sights we see in our already legendary sunsets.
The sun is, of course, an essential element of our universe but the ancients tell of a time when the sun almost disappeared for good. The “Sunshine State” might have never been.
The ancients believed the sun lived on the other side of the sky vault but her daughter lived in the middle of the sky, directly above the Earth. Everyday, as the sun was climbing along the sky to the west she would stop briefly at her daughter’s house for dinner.
The sun also hated the people on the Earth because they could not look at her without screwing up their faces.
“My grandchildren are so ugly,” she said to her brother, the moon.
“I like them,” replied the moon. “They are very handsome and smile at me so gently when they look at me.
The sun became jealous and planned to kill all the people. Each day, when she neared her daughter’s house, she sent such sultry rays down to Earth that a great fever arose and many people began to die.
The people held a council and decided to seek the help of the Little Men who lived in the swamps. The Little Men made a medicine and changed two men into snakes, the water moccasin and the rattlesnake, and sent them to wait outside the sun daughter’s house to bite the sun and kill her when she came by.
But the snakes were impatient and when the daughter came to the door they mistakenly bit her and she fell dead in the doorway.
The people held another council with the Little Men who suggested they pick seven of their best men to travel to the Ghost Country and retrieve the daughter. They were told to put her in a box and bring her back without every opening the box on the return trip.
The seven men traveled to the Ghost Country in the west, found the daughter and coaxed her into the box as they were told. But on the way back, the daughter came to life and pleaded with the men to let her out. They paid no attention for a long time but when the daughter pleaded she was smothering, the men decided to crack open the box to give her air. A flapping sound startled them just as they lifted the lid and out flew a redbird.
The men proceeded on but the when they returned to the village and opened the box the daughter was not inside.
Still, the sun was upset and would not come out of her daughter’s house. The council sent 10 of the village’s most handsome and talented men and women to entertain the sun. They sang their best songs and eventually the sun smiled and has been casting gentle, warm rays to the Earth ever since.