Posts Tagged With: sunrise

A Certain Angle of Light

photo 3-5 copy 4Moisture pushes ahead of the straggling remnants of hurricanes limping far inland from the Pacific, bumping up against the northern and eastern mountains.

photo 1-5 copy 6A traffic jam of clouds fills the sky with swirling masses of whites, grays and blues.

photo 4-3 copy 10Cloud sculptures twist and swirl while light plays a melody in concert with the sound of distant geese calling out their imminent arrival.

photo 2-4 copy 3Dozens upon dozens of rabbits rush around drawing too much attention to themselves,  making use of the cooler morning hours.

photo 1-6 copy 3Sun breaks through the tangled muss of fluff with bits of light but little color.

photo 2-3 copy 5

Small birds twitter, tap, chatter, sing, peep, mimic, flit, flutter, flap, hum and tweet.

photo 4-5 copyLarger birds sit in silent patience.

photo 3-6 copy

A pair of hawks sweep low and silent along a path searching for the unaware and unwarned.

photo 1-5 copy 6I walk, finding more than animals, birds, sky, water, shades of green.

photo 2-2 copy 22I listen for solace and a different kind of silence.

photo 5 copy 4I look for something within myself as I walk the dawn.

photo 1-4 copy 20Thoughts clarify with each step I travel through this oasis.

photo-24 copy 29I gather courage and hope as I pass the creosote, palo verde and acacia.

photo 4-4 copy 2Each morning I claim sanctuary, and emboldened, face the day.

Categories: Nature, Outdoors | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Listening to the Sun Rise

It’s been a while since I’ve listened to a morning begin.

Woke from a frightening dream last night and never did get back to sleep. So when first light began to push the night away I stepped outside.

Surprisingly a cool mid-April breeze blows through our suburban southwest neighborhood. I forget how cold the mornings can feel in the dry desert air.

Abert's Towhee ( Pipilo aberti)

Abert’s Towhee (Photo credit: Alan Vernon.)

The mix of Grackle screeching, Inca Dove cooing, Finch twitter, Cactus Wren whistle, Sparrow cheeping, Hummingbird buzzing and chipping, and Towhee calls seemed oddly loud in the early morning silence.

Then a car drove past and the bird sounds were nearly inaudible in the wake of engine noise. Not thirty seconds later, the bird sounds took over the morning’s orchestrations and filled the chill air with their busy conversation.

I’ve wished I spoke bird on more than one occasion. Do they complain about the noisy neighbors or the fretful chick that kept them awake? Do they discus their busy day ahead, the long to-do list of twig gathering, bug capturing, water hunting, territory guarding? Do they need to nudge the spouse again and again, finally resorting to singing a bit off-key to get him or her out of the nest? Is there a honey-do list for one to the other that needs details added? Do the teen birds complain about breakfast being the same old bugs again? Who knows? It’s fun to imagine though.

Or is it really just a rose-colored glasses kind of morning for them every single day of the year, happy songs, cheerful melodies, worry-free existence? I somehow don’t think it’s that either.

English: Curve-billed Thrasher (Toxostoma curv...

Curve-billed Thrasher  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The breeze picks up and with it the added tones of my windchime swirl about the air with the various bird sounds. As the light increases so does the bird chatter and real sightings of birds. A hummingbird angles in to the feeder hanging near my porch swing. After a quick sip it darts back into the nearby tree to watch for interlopers. A curve-billed Thrasher swoops in and lands in the rocks and begin its messy morning work of flinging rocks on my sidewalk and driveway in search of tasty bugs. Eat all you want, I say under my breath.

English: Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus), Cali...

Killdeer  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s a bird that looks and acts surprisingly like a Killdeer in the park across the street. Seems like an odd spot to see one. Not really a nest-friendly place for a ground nest builder. Hmm. I’ll have to research that one later today.

The sun glares out over the horizon, no golden orange, no clouds to shift the light to various shades and hues. Just the burst of sudden light, strong and almost loud in its brightness. The sky seems a whitish blue, cold, thin and stark. Not sure what that means for the day ahead. Not sure I want to know.

Not many more of these gentle Spring mornings are left. Soon the early hours will be warm and then turn hot quickly as the sun breaks its night moorings. Summer’s unrelenting onslaught of blasting, blazing, blaring heat will bake us all into submission, force us indoors most hours of the day. Escapes to the cool pine mountains will haunt our nights. High elevations with lower temperatures will inhabit our daydreams. Rain will be a distant wish, clouds a taunting temporary mirage.

Perhaps this is why I had a sleepless night. Perhaps I needed reminding how rare and precious these cool hours are. I’ve let mornings slip by the wayside since my January-long cough set me back. I’ve slept in too many mornings, too many days. Perhaps it’s time. Perhaps I need to wake early every day to dip my psyche in the pool of morning song and early light.

There are few better ways to begin a day than this.

Hummingbird 4

Hummingbird (Photo credit: alana sise)

The lack of sleep is catching up to me. Maybe, now that the sun is up, the morning started, the heat working its way into the air, I can catch an hour of sleep before I really have to start the day.

More than likely the pillow will lose that battle and I’ll slog through my day ahead, drowsy and fuzzy headed and ineffective. I really should get some shut eye while I can, and for the next hour, I can.

I’ll also get to bed earlier tonight. I can feel the need for another morning reverie on the horizon for tomorrow.

Categories: Nature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Sun Rises on a New Day

Mornings are second chances. Another day to try to get things right.

Perhaps that’ why mornings feel so good to me. The earlier I am up, the greater the potential for getting a firm grip on the day. That, of course, requires a discipline in the evening that I seem to lack lately. Early days can’t happen if the night lasts too late.

Living with a bunch of night owls makes it tough to go to bed at a “decent” time. I don’t want to miss out on anything or anyone.

Then I see a sun rise, like this one and I’m reminded of that second chance feeling. Perhaps I need some sunrise photos displayed near my bed, to coax me under the covers.

alternate sunrise photo

There’s so much I miss in a morning when I stay in bed. Besides the sun rise, there’s the first songs the birds call out, the coolness of the air, the fresh feeling that early light bestows on every object.

And the quiet. The quiet in the morning, especially on a weekend morning, settles me in a way little else can.

My life overflows with noise. One of the most precious commodities I know is stillness, quietness, silence.

That alone should remind me that I want, no, crave, an early morning.

A second chance waits for me tomorrow.  Until then, I’ll see what I can do with the one I got this morning.

Categories: Outdoors | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A View from Younger Eyes

I once fancied myself a poet of sorts. I let go of that idea for a long time. Then, I recently came across a book of collected poems by my younger self. Each poem was typed, then cut out and carefully pasted into a blank book.  The gold lettering, hand-pressed to the outside cover and spine, still looks pretty good. It’s the most professional look I could manage given the technology of the time.

Now I could key in an address, get out my credit card and order up a professionally printed, bound, self-authored, illustrated book. Maybe someday.

There’s an honest quality to the typewritten page. The corrected type speaks volumes. The indentations that punctuation make into the paper  give the poem a tangible finality.

The temptation to edit and polish the poem before sharing it was strong. But, I like the unjaded, unedited perspective of youth. To quell the editor in me I simply photographed the poem from the page in my book to share right here.

- Kami M Tilby

– Kami M Tilby

I’m not sure I have it in me anymore to write poetry. It’s a stark, open-bellied, sense of exposure  to write a poem. There isn’t any excess verbiage to hide behind, no explanatory prefacing. It’s like a literary photograph. The writer must say, “This is my perspective, this is what I saw, nothing more, nothing less. Take it or leave it.”

Categories: Outdoors, Poetry, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Magic in the Morning Air

It’s still dark, still practically night, at 4:50 when I leave my house to go walking. “She must be out of her mind,” you’re thinking. Don’t lie. I can hear you. “Who wakes up that early to go walking?” that’s what you’re thinking. “Crazy people, that’s who.”

“People from Central Arizona,” would be my reply. Yes, I am a bit crazy, that’s completely true. But, more important in this conversation is that I live in the greater Phoenix area. The DESERT. That is why I’m awake so ridiculously early and why I am walking in the dark. No offense to my fellow desert rats, I mean Valley of the Sun dwellers, but we all must be crazy to live here.

If you’d ever lived here, or do live here, an explanation for nearly night/early morning walks would not be necessary. But then most people are fortunate not to live in the desert so let me be more concise.

It’s flipping hot here in the desert, even at night, especially during our eternal summer. It cools down about 15 degrees at night if we’re lucky. So it’s 85 or 90 degrees when I leave in the dark to walk. Imagine what happens when that rolling ball of hydrogen surges over the protective horizon and starts blasting down laser rays of heat across the already baked, seared, sandblasted landscape of the desert floor.

We celebrate sunsets here in Arizona. Look at our flag, for crying out loud, it’s a sunset. We cheer when the sun goes away for the day. It’s a sign that we survived another blast furnace day.

Sunrises are nice during our six months of (cough) winter. But that’s another story. I digress.

I’m walking. Meeting my walking partner. Had I mentioned that? There’s an important detail. I don’t walk alone in the dark. No way.

I meet my walking partner where our two neighborhoods intersect.

The plants hover overhead. It’s so dark it could be midnight.

So we walk. We get sweaty even in the dark.

We talk.

We vent.

We laugh.

We cry.

We explain.

We justify.

We make sense of our lives, at least temporarily, as our feet move. Once we get home, reality sets in, but that, too, is another story.

We weave this beautiful, sad, heart wrenching tapestry in the air above us. I can almost see our words above us, intertwining, circling. Our conversation is an amazing work of art and heart. There are shades of blue mostly. That’s to be expected. But there are some brilliant greens looping through, like little vines. And some yellows burst in the air above that, like little fireworks. For some reason there hasn’t been much red. Lavender blossoms emerge in the conversational picture above us, their fragrance almost discernible.

It’s a priceless work of art we weave with our talk as we move along the path.

Reluctantly ending our walk, more reluctantly ending our conversation, we air hug. We’re both too sweaty for a real one.

The talking tapestry we created does this swirling dance, divides into two parts. One half follows her and the other half chases after me.

By then the sun is undeniably up for the day. A combination of heat, sore muscles and the solitude conspires to turn the dancing conversational colors in the air to a dust that settles in my hair and on my shoulders. The walk has worked its magic. I feel a bit more whole, a little bit more able to cope with reality. I am a little more what I need to be for the day ahead.

It’s worth the loss of sleep.

Categories: Outdoors, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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