Second square, the last light of Autumn sunset

And so another year has begun. Another decade. The last one was insane. I wonder how bad or great the next ten years will be. I’m torn between a faint hope that things have to get better and a sickening fear that it will never get better. Ever again. That the days we remember are gone and won’t come back.

But until I see it getting worse, I’m going to pretend that it’s about to improve. Because I need hope. Don’t we all?

From the rear of the teepee, the day is ending in mid-Autumn.


First square, the first light of dawn

It’s a square New Year, my friends. Even though these pictures look more or less identical to ones I took before Christmas, this is a new dawn. A different sunrise with fresh early light. The problem is that pictures taken from my deck tend to look the same, depending on the time of year.

In the summer is all leaves and you really can’t see much beyond the fence rail and the bird feeders. In the winter, after the leaves have fallen, you see the same trees against the lighter sky. It doesn’t matter whether I take the picture from the kitchen, dining room, or bedroom. Same woods. Same trees. And remarkably, an almost identical sky. These seem to be our local dawn color combo.

First light of day, first frame on the chip

One day I’ll get something different, but so far, unless it’s raining, cloudy, or snowing, this is pretty much it. No matter how hard I try, I can’t come up with something unique. Same old sky. Same colors. Same trees. But isn’t it lovely?


July Blues and the Sky at Dawn – Vernal Equinox 

It was dawn on the day of the Vernal Equinox and I had not closed the shades. I usually do, but I forgot. When I woke up, it looked as if the room was on fire. The blue sky turned deep red and violet before finally, the sun came up. It was the most amazing sunrise I’ve ever seen. My friend called me to ask: “Did you see that sunrise this morning? It was amazing!”

Dawn – Vernal Equinox

And I keep a camera in the bedroom, just for this kind of event. I can only get these amazing sunrises before the leaves come out. After that, the trees hide the sky.

A DAILY MIRACLE – Marilyn Armstrong

Dawn of a new day, as indeed it must

Every dawn is a little miracle. An expected miracle. We know there will be dawn because there is always dawn and then sunrise, right? So, let’s go with the expected.

The sun will rise and the earth will turn because it always has and that’s the way we like it.

Sunrise over the ocean in Ogunquit, Maine – About five in the morning

Thus we greet the day.


We seem to get our best sunrises on the quarter of the year. Sometimes glorious during the Vernal Equinox in March and just around Christmas, if the sky is clear, the eastern horizon lights up. Sometimes, it looks as if the house is on fire when the sky is that deep scarlet.

This morning, I woke up and realized I had nothing to drink. The dogs were barking anyway and Garry was sleeping like the veritable log, so I got up and made my way into the kitchen.

I poured myself something wet and cold … and looked out the window. The sun was just coming up and it was beautiful.

I can’t see the sky in the summer or fall. When the trees are full of leaves, all I see are leaves. But when the trees are bare, I can’t see the sky unbroken, but I can see it. Since I now have cameras ready and waiting for the shots, I just grabbed one and took half a dozen shots. I gave each dog a couple of little biscuits and headed to bed for a few more hours.

It’s almost the winter solstice and the sunrises are bright with the glory of the turning of the earth. And I have cameras!

THE HOPE OF DAWN AND DUSK – GLIMMER – Marilyn Armstrong #Writephoto

A Hope for Dawn and Dusk – Glimmer:
Marilyn Armstrong #writephoto

It could be the first light of the sun creeping over the horizon or the last rays of light as the sun sets below the horizon. It’s impossible to know. I always wondered if there was any way to tell the difference between dawn and dusk and the answer turned out to be “no” — not really.

I have seen sunrises so brilliant that they came through the window and the room in which I lay seemed to be on fire … and I’ve seen the setting of the burning orb over a bay that set the entire sky alight — 365 degrees of solar magnificence.

And yet, for all that, my favorite times are the soft rising and setting of the sun. The glimmering. A quiet rising and a gentle departure. Soft blues, golds, and pinks — the beginning and end of an ordinary day.

There has been so much craziness in our world. A peaceful start and close to the sun’s passage seems a good choice.

I am trying to find some peace in a world that seems at war with itself and certainly at war with me. I cannot fix it. The best I can do is find a bubble of quiet and hope greater powers than mine grab hold of the world and tenderly bring it back.

This continent on which I live — the northern end of the “new” world — was and still is magnificent. We have great mountains and prairies and lakes the size of small oceans. Giant rivers where the salmon have run for centuries and if we allow it, will continue for centuries more.

I’m not much on prayer. I have no idea where prayers go or if anything or anyone hears them … but for those spirits who might be listening, I offer a humble hope to hold fast to this beautiful planet.

May our better selves emerge to save us from our own savagery.



My favorite horizon is sunrise, but sunset is pretty good too. Anywhere where the sky meets the earth is a horizon. Clear away the buildings and the trees, and there it is.


Every year in March, we get glorious sunrises. It only occurs for a week or two and only in March. This morning, I woke up, lifted the shade and there it was. That glorious, gold and lavender morning sky … which remarkably means it will most likely rain later in the day. Still for the half an hour, it is exceptional and heart-lifting.


It’s an ordinary spring day in an ordinary year. Which is why, an eighth of a second after I posted this, I looked up and it was snowing. Garry grabbed the camera and ran for the door. It wasn’t snowing hard. Not really much at all, but for all of you who keep insisting that we are experiencing Spring, no — we aren’t! You can see the snow. If you look hard.

I titled the folder “The Absolutely Last Snow.”

Absolutely last snow – Photo: Garry Armstrong


I was dreaming that I had gone to some weird resort that required ladders to get out of the rooms, which were really caves. Someone had stolen my ladder and I was stuck. In the cave. I complained to a man who I presumed was management and he told me to get over it. I said “You can’t strand me here in this damp, dark place. It’s wrong!” He laughed.

I was still angry as I struggled to the surface of sleep and realized it was another anxiety dream. Either I’m searching for something and it is nowhere to be found, or I’m trapped and no one will help me escape. Variations on a theme of anxious. I went back to sleep, but found myself still trapped in the cave.

I got up, went to the bathroom … and the sun was rising.


A few minutes later, it shone brightly on the fresh powder of snow that had fallen overnight.

I keep a camera in the bedroom for just such emergencies. Ah, the joy of ambivalence. If I stopped to take pictures, would I be able to go back to sleep? If I went back to bed without getting pictures, I would surely regret it.

I took pictures. I’m glad I did.

This is a tense, anxious, frightening time for many of us and it’s getting to me. But, it isn’t going to go away anytime soon. We have a long hard road to travel. I cannot fight every battle, every day. I’ll collapse and quite probably, never sleep again. It’s good to remember the world is beautiful and the sun continues to rise. It was certainly glorious this morning.


This is dawn and sunrise on the first day of February during the strangest year through which I’ve yet lived. So far, so good.