42 degrees at 5:40 a.m. CIVIL TWILIGHT begins at 6:59 a.m., SUNRISE at 7:25 a.m., SUNSET at 5:43 p.m. MOONRISE was at 1:45 a.m., a waning gibbous that’s 33% illuminated, MOONSET at 1:02 p.m. LOW TIDE at 2:24 a.m., HIGH at 8:48 a.m., LOW again at 1:59 p.m., and HIGH at 8:09 p.m.

At 6:10 a.m. it’s still dark, but the waning crescent MOON is bright in the sky, with three stars to the left of it and arcing around above it. Bright VENUS is way off to the left. I can see quite a few other stars too. This is what I would call a STARRY MORNING, and the FROST ON MY CAR tells me it was COLD last night.

It’s only 6:40 a.m., so I’m out early enough this morning to be seeing the delicious dark red that precedes civil twilight. The whole horizon is aglow. The stars are fading, but the air is still crystal clear. At 7:03 a.m. it’s past civil twilight, but there’s still some good color in the clouds above where the sun is going to rise in about 20 minutes.

At 7:15 a.m. I saw 7 GULLS and  a SPOTTED SANDPIPER on the Park Beach. A SNOWY EGRET (I think) just flew in and landed in the water. When I got to the Cedar Cove Marina, I saw a GREAT BLUE HERON perched on a post. Here comes the SUN at exactly 7:25 a.m. It was too bright to look at even before it was all the way up. I’m glad I came out early on this cold clear morning and saw the whole show.

This afternoon Bob and I decided to drive up to the Lower Suwannee NWR to check out the new Observation Platform again. At 3:55 p.m. the pond is empty. There are some peepy cheepy birds in the trees around the edges but no birds in or on the water. A PHOEBE just flew out over the water and landed briefly on a tall grass. Bob spotted a KILLDEER in the shallow water right in front of the platform. That was it for birds. Oh well, it’s a beautiful spot and worth the drive just to see what’s going on.

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