At 6 a.m. the sky above Roundtop is just beginning to show signs of the coming dawn. The black of night is fading to a steel blue in the east, with the barest hint of orange along the horizon. To the west the sky is still midnight black, and I can see the fading of the night move across the sky little by little. It is still dark enough for the great horned owls to call each other from somewhere up on the forested knoll, but it is already light enough for the first robins to sing and the phoebe to call.This is the time that Baby Dog and I go for our morning walk, in this edge between dark and light, between morning and night. Twilight is neither fully day nor fully night. It is a time when both exist and neither.
It is still night when we begin our walk but already morning by the time we return to the cabin. In another week at this time, the day will already dominate this hour, but for now, during this week, day and night are equal partners. And because both occupy the same time, I sometimes find it difficult to identify the sounds I hear. Is it a night sound? Or a bird from the day? Unlike the owls, I can’t always tell. Perhaps that is why twilight is more mysterious than other times. I just don’t know what I will hear, nor do I always know from which realm the sound emanates.
Baby Dog is unconcerned either way. A sound in the woods is something to bark at, regardless of the hour. Behind us, six deer gallop across a stone parking lot, hooves clattering, only their white tails visible. They run from night into the day and just that quickly, it is dawn.