Red dawn with a moon like a searchlight sinking into the powerline cut. The cardinal debuts a new call with what sounds like a glottal stop in the middle: chee-er, chee-er.

Within the moon’s crescent, its dark bulk is aglow—a reminder that Earth is still, somehow, a source of light. A towhee calls twice and goes back to sleep.

An hour before dawn, the crescent moon hangs just above the ridge, with Venus blazing like a campfire through the trees. It’s cold. An inversion layer brings the sound of every engine waking in the valley.

Sitting by the front door to enjoy the moon, I’m startled by a rabbit running between my feet in her eagerness to graze. Five minutes later she runs back to evade a weasel loping down the road. Orion emerges from the trees.

The old moon is now mostly ember, clasped by a thin crescent no brighter than nearby Venus. The loud highway noise from the west that portends nice weather.