moonset-sunrise

Sunrise_Moonset1smSunrise on Abbotts Lagoon as the full moon sets on the Pacific horizon.

Alarm goes off at 6am and we grudgingly rise, step outside and check for overcast. Stars punctuate the deep indigo sky so we dress and drive north to Abbotts Lagoon to hustle the long trail to the beach. Full moon hangs brilliant in the western sky and we chase it fast in the dark as it approaches a copse of clouds lingering on the horizon. Greg asks, “What type of birds are these?” I stop and reply “What birds, where?” He points at our feet. I stare and let my eyes adjust to the dark. Right before us on the mud path, in silent cascade, song sparrows skittle and skirt in stunning numbers. We are disturbing their breakfast scavenge, the first of dawn surprises. We can hear the crash of waves long before we reach the dunes as the moon sinks behind the low border of clouds. “Oh we’ve lost it,” Greg exclaims. “Not really,” I assure him as light and color slowly fill the firmament: to the East the golden blaze of sun rises above the bluff while in the West the rose-tinged wash of setting full moon sinks into the arc of ocean waves. We stand transfixed in composing as sun creeps above the eastern hills and moon pales beneath the western horizon. Colors ebb and expand in opposite directions for the full moonset-sunrise aglow in 360-degree splendor. Grebes glide in silent silhouette on the estuary tidal flow as crows and turkey vultures ride the current overhead. A great blue heron poised in hunting at the edge of the marshgrass and then a flock of common redpolls in winter migration rest along the barbed wire fence,…all accompany us silently moving into the day as we walk back along the rutted path in morning venture.

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