Rising before the sun has its rewards.

 I love the early morning hours, when silence and darkness heighten one's awareness of the natural world. Walking Lacey through the quiet streets before the town wakes is incredibly peaceful. I often take my camera on these pre-dawn treks to capture images of the eastern sky lighting with first blush, or the moon making its descent toward the western horizon. 

There are soft sounds of night creatures moving through the landscape, a cat quietly sliding beneath a shrub, the eerie howling of not-so -distant coyotes,  a pair of Great Horned Owls calling to one another from the canopy of evergreens. We make little noise as we walk because Lacey is a quiet girl whose heightened canine senses enables her to hear and see so much more than I. Yet she remains silent, even as she notes the presence of these others which are also aware of our passing. Lacey stops, stares intently at something I cannot see; she is on alert mode, her collie ears pricking forward, her long nose picking up a scent. Then she turns toward me touching my hand with her muzzle, telling me there is nothing to fear, and we continue our journey together.