IMG_3343My body shivered.  It reminded me that the morning in the desert in February was chilly.  Since I was sitting down there was no movement to warm me up.

I zipped up my jacket a bit tighter.  It helped.  Then, I pulled my hood over my head and snapped it up.  That helped a lot.  Whoever designed these jackets knew how to retain body heat for just this kind of moment.

A coyote howled.  It was not that far away.  Then, another one joined in the chorus.   It was a pack of carnivores within a mile of where I sat.

I do not speak coyote but their song sounded like a victory yelp of a successful hunt.  A pack of desert dogs had their morning meal and they were celebrating.  After they were done filling their bellies, flocks of buzzards would make short work of any leftovers.

Birds began chirping.  Doves began cooing.  The swift whoosh of the wings of a powerful owl moved quietly through the night.  No doubt he was returning to his daytime refuge.

All the signs of the sunrise were moving like a mighty vanguard to usher in a new day.  But, this moment was more than just about the morning.  I was looking for something far more tangible.  I wanted to get rid of the shivers.

Then, the horizon lit up like an orange splash of color.  Shapes in the desert were given definition.  Textures of cactus, mesquite and grasses surrounded my chair.

A whitetail buck appeared out of the scrub and stared at another competitive buck.  They did not know I was there.  I did not move a muscle.

Each handsome animal pawed at the ground and grunted at each other.  Then, a bigger, more powerful buck stepped into the arena.  It stared at each of the younger pretenders.  Just as quickly, the dominant buck moved off silently, quickly into the brush.

The orange and red sky had bleached away, swallowed up by the bright blazing ball of the rising sun.  It was now a stunning orb in the Eastern sky.  However, the beauty of and grandeur paled in comparison to the warmth that it was showering down on my morning watch.

I unzipped my jacket.  Then, I pulled off my hood.  My legs crossed and I welcomed the comfort that the sun had offered.  It was going to be a grand day.

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography