A Spring Sunrise

Sunrise over the woods at the Iowa Arboretum, June 14, 2014, "A Spring Sunrise."As the sky lightened, the colors spread along the horizon. I had an extra layer on under the windbreaker. I walked down the road towards the 4-H camp. I set the camera and the tripod down 20 yards from the end of the road and waited. The morning had started at 2 am. There was enough time to wake up, get ready, and drive north to the woods. I hardly noticed the chill as I watched the sky and the sparkles of light illuminating the wildflowers and the grasses.

Walking back up the road, I noticed a bird perched on the top of the wire fence. It was a Cedar Waxwing. I entered the woods. The wind was strong. I could see the branches moving overhead. The air was still down near the ground. Up ahead, there was a flash of red. A Northern Cardinal paused for a moment on a tree at the edge of the path. The path follows a ravine. There is a downward slope to a small creek behind the trees. The morning light made its way through the trees to form shifting patterns on the grasses and the leaves.

When I left the woods, I heard birdsong coming from the old tree. A Mountain Bluebird was singing from the very top of the tree. It was over 300 miles east of its customary range. Eastern Bluebirds and Western Bluebirds have rusty red patches across their fronts. The Mountain Bluebird was at a distance that is at the very end of my camera’s abilities and the photos are not clear. There is no mistaking, though, the blue instead of rusty red across his front.

I walked up the road to the Restored Prairie before leaving for home. The high winds were out in front of a storm. In a few hours, there would be sheets of rain, thunder, and lightening. It was the last Saturday in spring.

Roadside Spiderwort flowers at sunrise, June 14, 2014, "A Spring Sunrise."

Roadside Spiderwort flowers at sunrise.

A Cedar Waxwing at sunrise perched on the fence at the Iowa Arboretum, June 14, 2014, "A Spring Sunrise."

A Cedar Waxwing at sunrise.

A Northern Cardinal in the woods at the Iowa Arboretum, June 14, 2014, "A Spring Sunrise."

A Northern Cardinal in the woods.

Early morning in the woods at the Iowa Arboretum, June 14, 2014, "A Spring Sunrise."

Early morning sunlight in the woods.

A Mountain Bluebird perched high in a tree at the edge of the woods at the Iowa Arboretum, June 14, 2014, "A Spring Sunrise."

A Mountain Bluebird perched high in a tree at the edge of the woods.

Birdfoot Trefoil flowers in the Restored Prairie at the Iowa Arboretum, June 14, 2014, "A Spring Sunrise."

Birdfoot Trefoil flowers in the Restored Prairie.

Crown-vetch flowers on the side of the road, June 14, 2014, "A Spring Sunrise."

Crown-vetch flowers on the side of the road.

Crown-vetch flowers on the side of the road, June 14, 2014, "A Spring Sunrise."

Crown-vetch flowers on the side of the road.

Take care and thanks for reading.

Sarah

About Sarah

nature, outdoor, and health enthusiast, book reader, and runner
This entry was posted in Nature and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to A Spring Sunrise

  1. Shady_Grady says:

    2 AM wake time? 🙂 ok…
    I like the spiderwort picture. It looks creepy. That was a really good photograph.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Shady 🙂

      It was early, but well worth it 🙂 The sunrise was both exhilarating and humbling all at the same time. The only sound was from the birds. I was so filled with happiness that I felt like I was floating 🙂

      The photo of the Spiderwort is my favorite of the ones from that day 🙂 I would have said magical rather than creepy, but I guess it depends how you look at it 🙂 I like how the light illuminates the unopened flower buds and how it sparkles off of the grasses. The blue was translucent in the early morning light. It actually looks better against a dark background. A while ago, I changed the way the photos are displayed when you click on them so that there would be titles under the images, but I think the photos looked better the way it was before when the background was darker.

      • Sarah says:

        Hi Shady 🙂

        Thanks for the encouragement and the information 🙂 I am a ways away from doing something like that. I haven’t gotten to the point on the to-do list yet where I figure out how to make prints I like from the digital files. It is a doable task, but there are only so many hours in the day. I do appreciate your suggestions, though. 🙂

        I have been through Story County. I had to look it up on the map. I have lived here for a few years, but this spring is the first time I have gone out and about very far from home. The Boone Railway Museum where I took the pictures of the train is in Boone County which is just west of Story County. The day I stopped there I drove up I-35 almost to Story City because I wanted to find the entrance to the restored prairie just south of that town. I went back south on 69 thru Ames and then over to Boone to find the trains. I haven’t been back up there yet. I also saw the sign for the Iowa Arboretum on that day and got preoccupied with visiting there. There are other places as well within a couple of hours from here that look interesting. There is only so much time to go exploring unfortunately. Last week, I fell and hurt my arm so I am temporarily unable to go on any little adventures. I am not sure when they will be resumed. I would like to go back to the Railway Museum on a Saturday afternoon to see the steam locomotive and try to find the bridge that it goes over on its trip out and back.

  2. Shady_Grady says:

    I saw this article and thought of your post. It’s sad (the article, not your post). 🙂
    When I was much younger invasive species killed off many of the elm trees in Michigan. Now a different species is doing the same to ash trees.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Shady 🙂

      Thanks for the link! There is a notice board at the entrance to the woodland area at the Arboretum with a picture of the Emerald Ash Borer and notes on what to look for. They want people who walk the paths to let them know if they spot one or the any damage. It is really unfortunate. I am not sure how one defends the trees against an insect like this. From reading the article you linked, it sounds like it is near impossible. I remember the destruction of the elm trees.

  3. Debra says:

    Gorgeous photos and what a wonderful experience. I love the photo of the cardinal surrounded in so much green.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Debra,
      Thanks for your kind words 🙂 I hear the Cardinals when I walk in the woods, but this is the first time one perched in a place where I could see him. Usually, they are in the tops of the trees hidden behind the leaves. He didn’t stay very long on that branch and by the time I got the focus right on the camera he was gone. I think the birds play games with me 🙂 It was very windy that day, but down on the woodland floor where I was, the air was still. It was like a dream where all the motion is going on outside, but you are sitting in a still spot. It was all in all a magical morning 🙂

      • Debra says:

        Why won’t they cooperate!?! hahaha. I will always have more ‘almost’ shots than keepers for sure.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s