The quality of light before dawn is always inspiring, even more so when I can make myself rise early enough to enjoy it. This morning I got up a little after 5:30, quickly dressed and drove to the rookery at Taylor’s Murphy Park. The egrets and ducks calling this home in the spring and summer months will envelop their little island completely in the evening, settling in for a good rest, but when daylight comes these birds take flight to gather sustenance for their families. During the harsh light of day you’ll see a few here and there, but it’s sparse. With that in mind, I arrived 45 minutes before first light , documenting the activity until just before sunrise. These are mostly presented chronologically, beginning with the earliest image, about 30 minutes from sunrise. The first two photos were made with the use of an always-handy tripod using a 20-second exposure. Those birds were so still, I didn’t have to worry about movement! The final photo, with a Waning Gibbous moon adding a speck of light above, was less than five minutes before dawn. Driving away a bit before 7, my rearview mirror filled with the sun’s glow. We’ll visit the sun another day, friends. This one’s about the gift of morning’s subtle tones.