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.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

otherworldly snowlight, in the darkness before dawn

sunrise:  6:21

Jonathan and I had to pull out at 6am sharp this morning, so my alarm was set for 5.

It was one of those odd nights.  Couldn't sleep until close to midnight, then I was awake at 2:30.  Wide awake, mind abuzz.

For some inexplicable reason, the Hebrew phrase "Baruch adonai elohim" was chanting through my brain like a mantra (which might not even make any sense), even while a dozen other thoughts, ideas, plans, edits, story ideas, career paths, were all filing through.  And there was music too - "Da Dayenu."

I am not Jewish, but I love the Jewish cultural traditions, music, spirit, history.  I wondered if I might have been receiving some kind of subliminal message.  Is it Passover this weekend?  Nope - one more week to go.  I have no explanation.

At 4am, even wider awake, I decided to just get up and start my day.

I wrote down a lot of the brain salad chaos that I had been entertaining, just to set it aside for later.  Then at 5 I took the dogs out.  It was still too dark for a camera, but I wish I had given it a try anyway.  The world was an enchantment of snowfall.  Heavy clumps of snowflakes fell in my hair and every tiny twig and needle was coated with a thick highlight of white.  I felt like I was in C.S. Lewis' fantasy forest world of perpetual winter.  Quiet.  Gentle.  And filled with an otherworldly hush of anticipation in the ground-lit darkness preceding the dawn.

Jonathan took a couple of shots from the car as we pulled away.  But in the light of day, rushing down the roadway, it had already lost the magic.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

signs of spring - first day

This is the first day of spring.  It is also the first day that I am posting without a sunrise outing.  Who makes the rules here anyway?  My commitment to the occasional sunrise will continue, but my outpourings may arise now and then even after sleeping in.

Signs of spring today:

  • the pond is ice free for the first time

  • a pair of mallards wasted no time, and have moved in

  • a mosquito bit my arm
  • windows and doors are staying open
  • children whining indoors are audible outdoors
  • the smell of barbecue wafted through the evening air
  • kids are outside playing
  • I cleaned up about 100 dog poops

  • it's almost 6:00, and it's light, and it's warm, and I'm sweating
  • I pulled out a chair from the garage and sat in the sun
  • I put up a hammock
  • the dogs don't want to come inside
  • people's legs and arms are visible again 
  • Kate is back in the water

Big day.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

things to love about March

sunrise:  6:49

Last weekend everyone bemoaned the fact that we "lost an hour."  For sunrise watchers, it's an extra hour in bed, sort of...  Playing around with time is always a bit of an exercise of the imagination anyway, but it's nice to find a positive spin on things.

Not that a positive spin is that hard to find in the expanding world of approaching spring.

I did a weather watch last night, and thought conditions might be perfect for one of those dazzling, fuchsia undercoats reflected up against the cloud cover at dawn.  No such luck, but it still promises to be a glorious day.

Among the things I love about March...

  • The air is softening.  There's still a chill, but the chill is increasingly laced with a tantalizing softness in the air.  It curls around your face and lifts your hair, and seems to imply, somehow, that you're going to be okay.
  • NO BUGS!  Well, there are only a tiny few, just enough for...
  • BIRDS!  They are returning in greater numbers every day, and singing with great gusto every morning.
  • With no leaves on the trees yet, you can still see long vistas through the woods and birds perched in the branches.  It's an unrestricted, open, expansive view on the world.
  • SPRING!  Even though Maine's mud season is not the spring of warmer climes, it's still uplifting and filled with promise.
  • Okay - I also really like the NCAA basketball championship.  Our daughter N drummed up a bracket group of 16 or more, so we're loving the upsets, the nailbiters, and the gravity-defying athleticism of young athletes, and we're fired up by a bit of competitive investment at the same time.
  • St. Patrick's Day.  We have no Irish on either side of our families - but we love corned beef and cabbage.  Special treat this year is that Jonathan corned his own beef brisket at the Bangor Bacon Club (there's a club for everything!).

Ice is still covering the pond, but the fields are thawing out by the day.  Soon I won't be able to walk through that muddy middle section anymore.

Here's a shot of Clara with the fog-covered Penobscot River in the background (and that awful piece of gunk on my lens, still unresolved.  I'll have to get a repair asap).

Always difficult to capture on film - that fairy-light twinkling of raindrops on the branches of trees.  It was so lovely in the first light of the rising sun.

My favorite picturesque scene - across the river in Orrington.

The red-winged blackbirds returned last week, with all their buzzings and chirpings and great repertoire of song.  I watched a pair trading calls.  When they let out a trill, they fluff themselves up so that you get a great view of the red on the shoulders of their wings.

Off to start the day----

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

March, snow, dogs

sunrise:  6:03

In spite of the annoying schmutz on my camera, I will share a few wintry March photos.

Sometimes I wonder if this blog might just fizzle out as the sunrise retreats further and further into the netherworld of "are you kidding me" hours of rising.  Then again - a reprieve is in sight, as daylight savings time arrives in just a few more days.

It has been an odd non-winter in Maine, but March seems to want to make up for lost time.  Even now, I get a little stir of excitement from that magical, snow-tipped beauty outdoors during and just after a fresh snowfall.  It is always short-lived, however, often gone even before most people get out of bed.  I only caught a glimpse yesterday, and the risen sun did its clearing work.

Beauty aside, it's just not the right time of year to be celebrating that particular magic.  I'm ready to move on.

The dogs come alive in snow, and their enthusiasms have helped me to plow through this often draggy time of year.  So I will feature them as a tribute.

Standing still is a challenge, unless all you care about in life is when your human might throw your stick again.

Guster is getting impatient, Clara is long gone, Kate's still vigilant.

I didn't catch it on film today, but when Guster goes out in the snow, he does this little dance, then wriggles on his back on the snow exuberantly.  J said he was making snow angels, which cracked me up.  Now that's all I can think of whenever he does his rolly thing.  Below, you can see him checking in.  That's his other endearing little practice.  After a period of bounding the fields, he sprints back to wherever I am for a little cuddle before moving on again.

Kate's face is an indication of how frosty cold it is outside this morning.  That's what happens when you pick up lots of sticks in snow, with your face, and it's ten degrees out.  You've been warned.

They are fine, good friends, with distinct personalities.  Not sure I'd be getting up and out without them~