1. One day in Hernando County, in December 2006 in the St. Pete Times:
Out on U.S. 301 in the county's rural east end, the bands of brush-stroke orange seemed to come from the tops of the trees and push the fog down close to the ground. The sun came up over the slow hills and the fat live oaks and the fences made of wire and wood. It was 7:14.
"Just the coffee?" said the clerk at the Circle K at 301 and State Road 50.
2. One day in Alabama, this week in Sports Illustrated:
You get 29,000 mornings, if your life is the average length, and some of those mornings follow sleepless nights, and sometimes your head feels like broken glass, and sometimes you rise in a stumbling frenzy because every minute you spend getting ready is one more minute you're late for work.
But once in a while you have another kind of morning: charged with anticipation, alive with possibility, and you get out of bed thinking maybe today will be incredible. In Alabama they get this feeling on Iron Bowl Day, two days after Thanksgiving. This state has more college football fans per capita than any other state, and these fans wait all year for the day the Auburn Tigers play the Alabama Crimson Tide.
"If your team wins," says David Housel, former Auburn athletic director, "you're a better person on Monday than you were on Friday. You're certainly better than the person whose team lost.
"That's how people feel, and that's why it's so big, and sometimes so poisonous."
On Nov. 30, 2013, Alabama is No. 1 in the country. Auburn is No. 4. The two teams have never been this good on the day of the game, which means very few mornings in Alabama history have been so charged with anticipation.
The first rays of the sun cross the Chattahoochee River at 6:20 a.m., in a forest at the southeastern corner of Alabama.