At five thirty a.m. I stepped out of my car and into the predawn chill. With an eye on the horizon, I searched for signs of first morning light. Suddenly, something heavy landed in the tree above me. I stopped in my tracks and slowly moved my eyes to where my ears had detected the landing.

There was an owl sitting there on the branch. I couldn’t believe my extreme good fortune as I stood there watching the owl watch me.

Facing Denver from South Platte River by REI
Pre-dawn Denver

Not wanting to appear the owl ogler I kept a cool demeanor and after a moment of appreciative observation, continued crunching through the frozen snow toward the river. I could hear her subsiding “whoo, whoo, whoo” as the distance between us grew.

SouthPlatteSunrise
South Platte Sunrise

Standing there on the path beside the river I turned myself slowly to get my bearings. Predawn is another world with its silence, its stillness, and its promise of the coming day.

LightsOnTheHill
Reflections in the Platte

Sort of spooky and mysterious, this situation puts me into a modified fight or flight state. I feel edgy yet calmed by it all. There I was all edgy and calm turning myself in a slow circle to get the feel of what was around me when a bicycle sped past me almost spinning me into the river.

ConfluenceAtDawn
Joining and the Journey Begins

That cyclist, passing within a foot of my black – clad body spinning in the predawn darkness brought me back to the real world of a Denver workday commute. So I shook off my nature buzz and pulled out my phone for some early morning iPhone phonetography.

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