Half a block west of my front porch, a stand of ponderosas blocks a large patch of sky. After sunset this evening, I saw the lopsided smile of winter's last waxing moon through a small gap in the tops of those trees. Above it, an arch of grey cloud briefly glowed salmon pink as it caught the last of the sunlight. A fine mist had dampened everthing, and the pavement glistened in the fading light. The calls of migrating birds flying north fell through the evening with the mist. The air was rich with the scent of damp earth and brush and pine. I watched the sliver of moon until it settled behind the silhouettes of the trees and the last color faded from the clouds, the sound of the birds vanished in the north, and the first stars appeared. I like to think of it as the dawn of a new night.