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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Sunrise at the lake



Watching sunrise at the lake is a quiet, peaceful undertaking best enjoyed from a lawn chair. For decades I watched the sunrise from a car, moving at unreasonable high speeds (my drive to work occurred during the highway patrol shift change), with my contemplation centered on the upcoming day’s work. Coffee woke me up, but sunrise made me alert. I would spend the rest of my day indoors, with conditioned air and artificial lighting, the drive to work at sunrise my only opportunity to note nature. This was the consequence of choosing a career in heavy industrial manufacturing. All this a trade off for a paycheck, which I would use to vacation in natural settings, my biorhythms set for starting the day before sunrise. I have enjoyed sunrise on Caribbean seas, Pacific shores and Rocky mountain tops. Now, in retirement, I can enjoy a sunrise at home.
For the complete sunrise experience one should start at least a half hour before sunrise, the predawn light is when the birds awake. A few tweets and chirps increase and build to greet the new day. Shortly before sunrise the birds flock to the bird feeder and bird bath, the squirrels sleep in, the squirrels will not arrive until after sunrise. The squirrels may be late, but they face a bigger problem, my dog. My dog has a life goal of catching a squirrel, she is eager to welcome them to breakfast. At sunrise the first power boats appear with skiers in tow, a sure sign that it is a weekend.
The long hot days of a Texas summer start with predawn as a comfortable climate, this doesn’t last long, the temperature rises as quick as the sun. The pounding solar radiation heats air and earth, starting the daily summer sea breeze. Due to this sea breeze, the first 100 miles of the coastal plain has about 1 in 8 chance of rain all summer long, if it does rain today, I’ll use it for a nap in the hammock.

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