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Photos: A spectacular sunset over Alaska's largest city

Aerial view of downtown Anchorage, Alaska at sunset on April 25, 2012.
Loren Holmes photo
Aerial view of downtown Anchorage, Alaska at sunset on April 25, 2012.
Loren Holmes photo
Aerial view of midtown Anchorage, Alaska at sunset on April 25, 2012.
Loren Holmes photo
Aerial view of Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge at sunset on April 25, 2012.
Loren Holmes photo
Aerial view of CIRI's wind farm project on Fire Island near downtown Anchorage, Alaska at sunset on April 25, 2012.
Loren Holmes photo
Aerial view of Hilltop Downhill Ski Area in Anchorage, Alaska at sunset on April 25, 2012.
Loren Holmes photo
Aerial view of downtown Anchorage, Alaska at sunset on April 25, 2012.
Loren Holmes photo
Aerial view of downtown Anchorage, Alaska at sunset on April 25, 2012.
Loren Holmes photo
Loren Holmes

The sun is a strange thing in Alaska. In the winter, it peeks above the horizon for just a moment, teasing. In the farthest parts of the state, it doesn't even do that, disappearing for months at a time.

Like so many other strange and beautiful things about the Last Frontier, the sun can be surprisingly easy to take for granted. Despite complaining about the lack of sunlight in the deepest parts of winter -- when many Alaskans stay tucked into their couches inside their homes -- we too often ignore the sun when it pays us back in the summer, coating the landscape in 24-hour light and allowing for midnight hikes and keeping us awake as it beats through our windows.

But there are a few perfect times every year when the sun is just right, staying up long enough to keep us occupied during the day and setting just long enough to allow us a full night's sleep. This past week in Anchorage, Alaska's largest city, has been one of those times.

Sometimes the easiest way to appreciate something all over again is to take a step back from it and look at the big picture. Or, in the case of an even bigger picture, maybe it's better to take to the sky. That's exactly what Alaska Dispatch photographer Loren Holmes did when he snapped these shots taken in the skies above Anchorage Wednesday, as the city approaches 16 hours of daylight. They serve as a simple reminder of why we all live in and love Alaska.

So enjoy it while it lasts, Alaska; because the future isn't so distant when we'll all be clinging to those fading scraps of sun as we're plunged into darkness for another season.

Send us your photos to info(at)alaskadispatch.com