The pre-dawn sky is a deep cobalt blue, clearly not black but only just barely, and then lightens gradually, becoming a richer and richer blue. A band of orange appears through the low clouds on the eastern horizon, growing like a wildfire in the distance. Looking up, I see the last of the stars fade from view as the sky continues to slowly but steadily lighten.
Deep orange along the horizon lightens to yellow and again to the first signs of day-sky blue to the East, as the West finally wakes from the dark of night to pick up the deep dawn blue. On and on the lighter colors march as the dark recedes. Details become sharper and clearer on the ground as the world wakes around me.
The sun struggles to be seen through the low clouds far to the east as the dark sky to the west begins to glow a soft lavender and the dome above me begins to shrug the last vestiges of cobalt. The clouds are on fire, ablaze with oranges and yellows as the sun climbs above them.
Finally the sun reaches clear sky, announcing the start of a new day in a full blaze of yellow glory in a bright, clear blue sky, yet at the same time losing the magic of that first hour when its more diffuse light first brushed the sky.