6:30 a.m.: It’s 58 degrees out with a 9 mph wind from the East/Southeast. Today’s forecast calls for thunderstorms and wind. CIVIL TWILIGHT begins at 7:00 a.m., SUNRISE at 7:26 a.m., SUNSET at 6:02 p.m., CIVIL TWILIGHT ends at 6:27 p.m. MOONRISE at 10:40 a.m. (waxing crescent 33% illuminated), MOONSET at 11:49 p.m. TIDES: high 4:57 a.m., low 10:58 a.m., high 5:09 p.m., low 11:56 p.m.

Standing on the Fishing Pier at 7:00 a.m.:  There was just a hint of pink — one thin cloud well above the horizon — as civil twilight began. Sitting on my bench at the Town Beach at 7:12 a.m.: At first I thought the pink was gone, but maybe there’s still a bit spread out much higher. It’s very faint. Mostly the clouds are gray this morning, and the wind is blowing right straight at me. It feels stronger than 9 mph, but who am I to judge? There’s even a bit of “surf” this morning, so I’ve got the wind in my face, the sound it’s making as it blows through the palm leaves behind me, and the rhythmic crashing of the small wavelets to accompany my morning sun watch. A small flock of BLACK SKIMMERS just flew through. I guess in Cedar Key, this is what passes for excitement. It’s good enough for me. The BLACK SKIMMERS came back, and they’re staying longer this time. They seem to like the surf — lots of skimming as they swirl gracefully back and forth. And now they’ve landed on the beach right in front of me. Whoops — off they go again, but they seem to like what’s happening close to shore. The wind is so strong right now that it just blew my coffee cup over. 7:30 a.m.: There’s some bright sky well above where the sun rose while I was watching the SKIMMERS, and now the SKIMMERS have settled on the beach again. They’re facing straight into the wind. Do I dare theorize that days with strong East/Southeast winds are good days to watch SKIMMERS?

3:50 p.m.: Now it’s raining hard with lightning and thunder. It’s been a strange day — but kind of exciting at the moment.