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  • Writer's pictureChrissy Martinez

Sunrise on the Hawthorne Trail

Updated: Jul 6, 2023

I left the house while the stars were still out and loaded up my bicycle with nearly 30 pounds of gear hoping to catch a glimpse of Comet Neowise.

Up until this moment the last comet that I remembered hearing about was Haleys Comet in 1986. We were living by the Hawthorne trail when it was still covered in railroad tracks. I was 7 years old and deep asleep when our parents woke us up. I started to become more alert as I heard their excitement about the comet and we all got to take turns looking through the telescope through sleepy and curious eyes.

About 10 minutes into my ride to see Neowise on the Hawthorne Trail a huge owl crossed my path. The air was thick and humid with a little hint of the last bit of coolness in the air before the sun wakes up.

This was my first adventure out searching for the comet and my first time looking for a comet since I was a child. I finally reached a clearing about 4 miles from home and I parked my bicycle on the side of the trail setting my camera on the tripod watching the stars trading spots with the morning light.

I didn’t get to see Neowise that morning but I was greeted by this beautiful sunrise. The comet was likely covered by trees or clouds in this image.

If I wasn't out peddling under the stars in search of the comet I would have likely slept in and missed this beautiful sunrise.

I have always loved the way the light shifts during this time of day and the brilliant colors that form before the sun emerges from the horizon.

Sometimes we get to experience amazing moments while on a journey to somewhere else and it's about being open to the beauty and magic that we find along the way. This sunrise gave me hope to keep trying and I eventually did get to photograph the comet.

Photographed on the Gainesville/Hawthorne trail, on the ancestral lands of the Timucua and Seminole. July 11, 2020


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