Up at 5:10 a.m. Checked some Web sites for key information. SUN: sunrise at 7:24 a.m., sunset at 5:42 p.m. MOON: moonrise at 1:14 p.m. with 61% of its face visible. TIDES: low 2:53 a.m., high, 2:20 p.m., high 8:31 p.m. At 6:40 a.m. I stopped by Cook’s Cafe for the ealiest cup of coffee in Cedar Key. It’s worth the $2.09 they charge for it to get something hot at this hour on a cold morning. It’s colder today than it was yesterday, but less windy. I’ll be glad when the sun starts rising earlier — or maybe I need to sleep later? Or spend more time reading and/or doing other indoor things before I go out to watch for the sun?

I wish Mead hadn’t stopped making my favorite pocket notebooks (and the size paper that goes with them). They have been my most useful field tool during these 30-some years I’ve been educating myself as a naturalist. Mead’s smaller size notebook doesn’t give me enough space per page, and the bigger size doesn’t fit into my back pocket. But maybe I should experiment with the two sizes that are still available just to see if I could make either work?

7:10 a.m.: I seem to have missed the pre-show while I was sitting at Cook’s Cafe warming myself up and fussing about my pocket notebook. When I headed toward the Dock, there was a lot of color in the eastern sky. I can see the bright glow where the sun is going to rise. Birds are flying by, including one big flock that I hope will loop back and put on a show for me. Actually there are TWO FLOCKS out there, but they seem to be flying away. About 8 more minutes to sunrise. I’m cold but determined to stay out here until I see the sun. For birds I’m seeing GULLS, PELICANS, 5 DIVING DUCKS, SEVERAL FLOCKS OF SOMETHING FLYING IN THE DISTANCE, GRACKLES, CORMORANTS, AND 4 MORE DUCKS FARTHER OUT.

I think the sun is above the horizon, but it’s hard to tell because of the thick gray clouds. The bright spot is getting brighter, and I’m sure I’ll see the sun itself if I can make myself sit here for another 4 minutes…. There it it — at 7:26 a.m. by my watch. but it’s too cold to stay for the whole sun to rise above the clouds.

2:05 p.m.: