Which Way Are We Looking? Golden Edition

Which direction are we looking in this photo taken in West Sussex, southeast UK? North, East, South or West?

It’s a tough one. There are two primary signs. Here is a cryptic clue…

Read the title of this post carefully.

Spoiler alert here is the answer:

We are looking West.

Look at the conifer, study its colour carefully. We can see that it, along with the other plants and the flagpole, are better lit on their left side. But we don’t know what time of day it is so that is only partially helpful.

The real clue comes in the colours of that tree. Some conifers, especially cultivars like golden leylandii (× Cuprocyparis leylandii), show a distinctly golden-yellow tint in some of their foliage. But it is never even, and the golden colour is strongest in the foliage that receives the most direct sunlight.

One side of this tree looks markedly more golden, even allowing for shade on the right side. Hence we can say with confidence that there is more sunlight arriving from the left, making that the southern aspect. We are looking west.

There is a secondary clue in the angle of the shrub’s flowers. The effect is subtle, but if you look carefully you will notice that they lean slightly to the left on average. This again indicates that south is to the left and we are looking west.

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