“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive — to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” ~Marcus Aurelius

I am decidedly a morning person. Believe me, it hasn’t always been that way. First college then kids forced me into being functional before the sun came up.

When the time changes in fall, I don’t even bother resetting the bedside alarm or adjusting my internal time-clock. I just settle in to getting up and going to bed an hour earlier than everyone else. Sure, I fall asleep at whatever I’m doing at 8:00p, but that’s okay. Much like my rabbits and the deer and the birds of my yard, I have become a crepuscular being.

The morning hours during the week are when I get enjoy quiet and contemplation alone. I catch up on my reading. I go out in the dark and watch as the birds and wildlife on our property come to life. Sometimes, one of the regulars comes in for a drink. They don’t mind me much.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Hey. Whatcha doin’ up so early?
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)

On mornings like today, crisp and clear, Mr. DirtNKids and I like to go out birding if possible away from home. On the way to our destination, we spend time discussing a myriad of subjects without constant interruption from the kids, and since the rest of the world hasn’t quite awoken from the previous night’s flings, the roads are clear.

But first, some fall pics of the homestead, because this paradise is too pretty for words.

The Creek, View to the South


The Creek, View to the East


The Creek, View to the North

Fall Show-stopper, View to the West
Bald Cypress, Not Yet Bald

Yeah, I love that daily walk with my cup of coffee. If you look closely, you will see all the bags of leaves in that last picture staged for action. I’m still much too lazy for gardening and yard maintenance, so there they sit.

My husband is afraid that I am becoming one of those hoarders. (I am, but let him wonder anyway.)

We picked a different spot to go this morning, one that didn’t seem too well-traveled. Independence Park is tucked back in a well-developed area south of Houston, and it turned out to be a treasure trove of birds. We will definitely be going back here!

Watching the Osprey hunt and seeing Monk Parakeets building a nest were the highlights of our walk. We were also very surprised to see several Brown Pelicans in the area — a rarity so far in from the coast.

Osprey, in a dive

Osprey, full dive!

Monk Parakeet

Monk Parakeet, twiggy

We’d been chasing the parakeets for a while, so it was great to finally get them on our list for the year. We are creeping up on our goal of 257 birds — one more than our total of last year — and we just might still have enough time to add the last handful of birds and top that number.

In all, we added three new species for our list today, logging 36 species in all for the trip and bringing our annual total to 249 species:

  • (247) Monk Parakeet
  • (248) Caspian Tern
  • (249) Vesper Sparrow

I took a lot of photos this time, way too many to cram into a post. So, if you’re interested in seeing them all, you can click on either of the links below.

Cheers! And get outside.

eBird Checklist:  Independence Park, 12/5/2015
SmugMug Album:  eBird Checklists

So tell me, are you a morning person?

14 thoughts on “Crepuscular

  1. Again, the Osprey ❤ such a magnificent creature! Crepuscular is not just my favourite time of the day for birding, but perhaps of my most favourite words. Apparently "Buddha's Fingers" is another name for crepuscular clouds!

    Missed reading your posts as much as I did birding! Had a birdy-filled weekend, will send the photos to you!


  2. When I was young, I was a morning person, but no longer. Both my wife and I are allergic to mornings. If I get up early, I find that I am already tired when I arrive at work. I’ve read that we need less sleep as we get older, but my body doesn’t seem to have received that message.


    1. Well, Uncle Guac, I still require my 8-9 hrs minimum snooze time. If I lose even an hour of it, my day is shot to heck. Hubs, however, can get by on much less — 5-6 hrs. I have no idea how he does it. Who knows? Maybe we’ll get the message just in time to lose our bladder control or memory banks. 😀


  3. I, too, love the creek view photos Shannon. I’m also a morning person. Maybe not quite the early riser you are, but it’s my “me” time, when the house is quiet and I can think — about — anything I want!

    We’ve been having some beautiful sunrises/mornings here in central Texas. A welcome relief from the dreary, rainy skies of much of November.


    1. You would love my creek, Julie! The garden, at the moment, is not much to look at. SO glad you are getting a reprieve from the wet November. We didn’t think it would ever end! For the time being, it’s GORGEOUS out.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome Shannon 🙂 And no, I’m from the UK (Scotland to be precise), so it’s winter here now, and hence mornings aren’t quite so appealing now! Lol!! It doesn’t get light until about 8.30am at the moment. I really like getting up early when it’s light at about 03.30 to 04.00am, which is in the middle of summer for us 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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