I think it's a cardinal. I never spent much time learning to identify constellations or bird songs, but robins and cardinals were staple birds of my childhood starings; we had two or three pin oak trees and a blue spruce. I am surprised, after less than a moon's-cycle of time since summer's peak, it's already — again — still dark at 5:30 a.m.
The birds didn't get started until recently.
Of course, there are people who get up like clockwork regardless of the sun's timing. I suppose they use a clock of some kind or a dog or a baby. I hear the Metro bus as early as 5. The helicopter pilots for the hospital, the local news, the police department are up. The person driving the train. The retired lieutenant colonel who runs a ROTC program at a public high school. A number of high school and pre-school and before-school teachers. Roofers and road construction workers. Doctors, other personnel at the medical centers.
I am not fond of waking up at this hour. I know some people who get up early in order to be alone. Some spend hours grooming or exercising and making food.
Speaking of food, I finally emptied the mulch bucket. There was an extra bag of mostly corn parts, as well as a half-inch of wine with a molding strawberry — a failed drosophila trap. The compost bin is dry and brushy for the most part. I had a terrible time scraping up enough dirt to bury the moldering stuff, molded into a cylindrical shiny mass and hard to love.
The quantity and speed at which regular flies congregated on the bucket edge was alarming. Thank goodness soil is as magical as it is, full of it's odor-killing properties, microbes, other organisms in various places along their growth cycles. It is better than washing with water, dumping some earth in and coating the residue with a faux brown-crumbed cake crust.
Anyway, I'm sick of the fruit flies. The one time I attempted to mitigate them by putting the trash outdoors instead of the "mudroom," a mammal came and got into it. The sought meal was a bag of batter for Amish friendship bread. Yes, I had to abort the second generation. We could not finish the first, even though a whole loaf was consumed by my co-workers and the other was presented at a July fourth food event. I don't care for chain letters, Tamagotchi, or things that one has to take at the same time each day.
I suppose my life is quite unstructured. I would have to change that if there were any dependents. Fortunately, the only things I'm harboring are birds, small spiders, and a colony of dreadful silverfish that seem to live only on the south side of the house.