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Critters for Company at Daybreak

With cloud cover forecast for this early morning, I decided to head over to the coast again to see if there'd be favorable conditions to photograph the sunrise (perfectly clear skies typically don't make for good color - I'm always looking for some clouds).

Actually, it's more accurate to say I photograph pre-sunrise because the best color is almost always on display before the sun is visible - roughly anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes prior.

Add the 30 minute drive from my house to the coast, and you know it's pitch black when I leave. I don't meet many cars as I make my way toward the ocean, and I'm nearly always the only one at the shore. I love it. (Except maybe for the lack of sleep!) I can count on the lobster boats for company, and of course the many birds that are active in the early morning.

Today, though, the four-legged critters were out in force, too. I met two of them "up close and personal" as I stopped first to allow a deer, and then a skunk, to make their way across the road. Perhaps the little skunk wanted to thank me personally for allowing him safe passage...since Pepe Le Pew followed me to my location! (This was a first...I have never seen a skunk at the shore in all the time I've spent there at daybreak!)

Actually, I think we startled one another. Having just arrived, I was surveying the sky - standing on the other side of the car from where Mr. Skunk came ambling up. Hearing some rustling, I walked over to see that telltale bushy tail headed in my direction. Hoping to avoid a smelly situation, I made sure he knew I was there, while backing away!

Seeing me, he scurried to hide among the rocks, but repeatedly poked his head out to have a look. After closer inspection, he seemed not to be bothered by my presence, and we both went about our business without incident.

As for the sunrise, there was a little TOO much cloud cover. As always, though, it was pretty to watch.

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