A continuation of the journey that began on January 1, 2010, recorded in "a year of getting up to meet the day." After 365 consecutive sunrise outings in that year, I couldn't bear to give up the dawn. This blog (no longer daily) will be informed and inspired by the rising light of the morning sun.


Monday, April 20, 2015

spring at last

sunrise:  5:41am

It's been an arduous winter, even for those of us who love winter here in Maine.  A few persistent patches of snow are clinging to the north side of trees, but spring has asserted itself pretty definitively now.

Although I've been outside at dawn once or twice in the last several months, I have been slacking off on blog entries.  Today, however, birdsong and early light tantalized me so insistently that I had to go outside and be in it.  Cedar waxwings, cardinals, song sparrows, crows, chickadees, robins, and the ubiquitous red-winged blackbirds produced the theme music to the scenes I'll share with you below.  Plus, I stood rapt by the haunting, echoey tunes of a hermit thrush back by the wooded hill behind our fields, though I couldn't find the singer himself.

I had my first spotting of our resident mallard pair this morning, just beyond this chair in the runoff stream that flows out of the pond.

Kate - the all-season retriever

Guster enjoying a vigorous roll on the grass, after 6 months of snow cover.

Sunlight tips the treetops before I can see the sun itself...

Here it comes!

Monday, September 15, 2014

first frost

sunrise:  6:14

I had an early departure for southern Maine this morning, and it just so happened that my dog walk coincided perfectly with the sunrise.  I could feel the frost in the air even before I went out, so I doubled up the fleece.

Frost, fog, and the low-lying light of September made for a lovely combination.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

spring abounding

sunrise:  4:56

I won't keep you with a lot of talk.  Spring comes late to Maine, relative to much of the country, but it seems to be lingering longer than it did a dozen years ago when we first arrived.

Imagine the songs of red-winged blackbirds, chickadees, robins, mourning doves, bobolinks, warblers, sparrows, cardinals, blue-jays, crows, catbirds, and a slew of others as you look at the abundance of flowering new life out there in the back field.

apple blossom time

lily of the valley


don't know what these white carpet flowers are called...

wild strawberry blossom

this particular apple blossom reminded me of an orchid

red and green maple

another tree decked out in that fresh spring green...poplar?  ash?  

sunrising, way to the north end of the field


I love these tall grasses, soon to be higher than my head

bluets - my favorite!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

sunrise in Israel

It took something wonderful like an Israel sunrise to nudge me out of my long posting hiatus.  Perhaps this means some more dawn blogging to come -- if not from me, from you!  Let's see the sun around the world --

Our contributor today went on her first trip to Israel under the auspices of the Birthright program.  She was kind enough to send her photos of dawn from two different days during her group's tour of the country.  Here are her notes:

"The first three were taken atop Masada, an ancient fortress at the top of a mountain that also borders the Dead Sea. We woke up at 4am to hike up to the top in time for sunrise, and it really paid off. If you look closely at the horizon, just between the mountains and the ground, you may notice a shimmering stripe between them - that's the Dead Sea."

"The second shot was taken from a Bedouin encampment where we stayed for one night in the middle of the Negev desert, in the south of Israel. You can get a sense of the flatness and texture of the land there, and I also love this shot because you can still see the moon, just beside the morning sun."

Friday, September 27, 2013

a little check-in with dawn

sunrise:  6:29

I was writing up on the third floor this morning when I saw that fuchsia tinge in the east.  It was fading by the time I got outside, but that is the nature of dawn's finest moments.  You have to seize beauty when it appears.

Forgive my long silence.  Life is full; my writing life is full.  I'm even awake fairly regularly at dawn, but generally admire the rising light of day through the windows.  Still, feeling yourself enveloped by the air of a September pre-dawn is not like anything else.  I should get out there in body more often.

Please remember, if you happen upon this post, that one of the reasons I keep it open is with the hope that others may submit photos and/or mental reflections of the sunrise from anywhere in the world.  I will post them here.

Have a lovely fall.

Monday, July 8, 2013

maine island days

July 7th sunrise, Sutton Island, Maine.

4:55am, or so

[I wrote this post yesterday morning, after a week on our favorite island with all the kids plus S.O.'s - the first ever gathering of all 9 of us]

Back on Sutton Island in Maine, where time hovers in suspension.  We leave today.  I say goodbye to a large number of those whom I hold most dear, so I am restless.  I always get unsettled when they leave me, when they go off into their cars and planes and lives – all those things fraught with unknown perils.  At least, that’s what it sometimes feels like when they are out of my hands, out of my sight.

The sunrise is always there, more often ignored than not these days.  The month of June slipped away without a sunrise excursion.  But today I allowed it to call me out.

I’ve been in a kind of holding pattern, waiting not for a landing but a launching.   I suppose I’m waiting to be called out in a bigger way.  Less than a week remains before I start my first residency for an MFA program in writing, and I’ve been writing virtually not at all.  I wish I didn’t feel the need to be shoved forward by some external force, but that seems to be my lot.  

Maybe with that impetus I can write about this island, the thoughts that flit by, the personalities inhabiting my life’s space, cookouts on the rocks interrupted by a drenching rain, hummingbirds at the feeder, barnacle scrapes, wading to a tidal island, catching up with a slew of 20-somethings over breakfast on a hot summer morning, many dogs draped over stones and decks in a state of island bliss, lots of coffee from a French press, margaritas shaken up in a washed out spaghetti sauce jar…stuff like that.

 dawn glow through a screen door...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

May meander, 4:45am

sunrise - 4:55am

Since my bedroom window faces north, the sun's morning light becomes more and more prominent on my pillow as it moves into its summertime position.  I've been too comfortable to venture out into the early dawn risings of May, but most mornings I vicariously experience that wonderful time of early light and first bird song through glass.  I take in the sensory experience of the world waking up, then I happily close my eyes again.

It should have been no surprise, that rush of witnessed grandeur that filled me out there at 4:45 this morning, but there it was, like nothing else.  Seeing it out the window and standing in the outdoor air are nothing like each other.  Perhaps I'll start getting out there more often...but it's hard to say.  The sun won't be up later than 5am until after July 10th.

Our Pakistani daughter leaves for home three weeks from today, after her year in Maine with us.  She is off on an all day whitewater rafting trip today with the high school seniors, which was what got me up so early.  A couple of days ago, almost 21-year-old T and I went with her to Canobie Lake Park in New Hampshire. Q had never been on a roller coaster - now she has been on several, plus a couple of water rides with big splashes.  Q loved the water rides.  We'll see how she feels about the real thing after today's adventure.

I attended the funeral of a friend of mine yesterday.  Cancer.  That stupid disease pops up everywhere, and I've had way too much of it too close to home lately.  That may be another reason why I've been disinclined to write.  Still, the family of my deceased friend articulated their feelings for their father with such sweet sorrow and inspired remembrance that I was left feeling uplifted and hopeful.  I suppose that's what a good funeral ought to do.

Here is a photo meander through today's sunrise, including some avian friends.  I startled a pair of ducks and caught them taking off, and was serenaded by the ubiquitous blackbirds.

There are also some backyard shots from about a week ago when the trees were still in high bloom.  My back field is an exquisite refuge and delight.  Its flower display this spring has been especially exuberant, and I couldn't resist including some shots of my very favorite bluets.

 blackbird, moon