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OPINION: Summer mornings have their own particular magic

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There's something special about summer mornings.

I'm an early bird anyway, but there are practical reasons for me to putter around in my petunias before sunrise these days. For one thing, I can do my weeding and hand watering before the heat and humidity leave me damper than the plants I just hosed down.

Then there's the fact that by 10 a.m., the UV index is high enough to turn me redder than my tomatoes, and a lot more quickly too. (Is there anything slower than the ripening of the season's first backyard tomato?)

Quite aside from such mundane considerations, there's poetry insummer mornings. The birds are singing – or in some cases, making an awful racket – and getting breakfast out of the way so they, too, can spend midday under cover.

It reminds me of the many times I rose in the pitch black to go to some remote place with my brother or my sons to watch birds we don't see in the backyard going after their morning morsels.

Ah yes, breakfast; that's the one thing that will get my family out of bed early on a summer morning to share pancakes and sausage with the school group or the firefighters, salute the flag, watch a parade, and silently give thanks for the many blessings we enjoy in this great land of ours.

It might also take me back to the time I sat on a big rock in the middle of nowhere, dangling my feet in a bubbling mountain stream and eating watermelon that had chilled all night in the rushing water.

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Or, of the time camping in the Uintahs when we had to build a fire to thaw our orange juice, which had frozen overnight even though it was mid-July, as the rising sun revealed the glorious colors of the carpets of wildflowers blanketing the slopes of the surrounding peaks, all still frosted with snow.

I love the sight of the first morning rays streaking to earth from the heights of Mount Timpanogos. It also makes me think of watching the sun clear the crest of Mount Haleakala on Mauimany years ago during an anniversary trip.

There we stood, shivering in the cold above 10,000 feet, with dozens of other people who seemed as crazy as we were.

Crazy, that is, until dawn's first light washed across the summit, revealing the iron and bronze and copper hues of the craters, whose misty tranquility at daybreak belies the fiery nature of their creation.

Then, whether walking along the beach of some faraway coral isle, the Gulf of Mexico or even Utah Lake, there's the gentle rhythm of waves breaking ceaselessly on the shore, their crests shimmering as if peppered with diamonds ... an illusion produced by the sun being so low in the sky.

Above them, wispy clouds float dreamily along, splashed with rose and gold as though they were tinted by the careful brush of an inspired artist.

From the sublime to the spectacular, summer mornings have it all. Maybe that's why I can never sleep in, even when I've been up half the night.

I'm afraid I might miss something.

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