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      The Nature Report: Sunrise to Sunset

      Dawn is merely a hint on the distant horizon as the eastern sky begins to fill with color.

      The birds are starting to stir as the crimson colors intensify.

      Sunrise is yet to come, but the clouds are now painted in their boldest hues.

      This crack between the worlds of dark and dawn is when the Lower Laguna Madre sometimes renders its most spectacular displays.

      Sunrise awaits, and the clouds begin to soften.

      A great blue heron slowly glides in with wings spread wide, and elegantly touches down on the far side of Green Island.

      Finally, the golden orb begins to rise, and another day begins on the tiny island.

      For countless centuries, the great blue herons and other colonial waterbirds have been congregating on Green Island.

      But for now in the early spring, the great blues pretty much have the island to themselves.

      Throughout the day the herons soar in to their nesting sites.

      With their six-foot wingspan set and long legs sticking straight out behind them, they gracefully land at their chosen nest.

      Often, they alight in the uppermost branches of the thickly wooded Island, and then slowly work their way down to the nest, before cautiously settling in to incubate their eggs.

      By late afternoon, countless flights have come and gone, and as the shadows lengthen, this pair basks in the last light of day.

      As the sun sinks beyond the placid waters, another day has come full circle on Green Island.