What do the words "silent night" mean to you other than, of course, the Christmas carol? Last month I entered this image in a peer reviewed photo contest where the entrants were asked to submit one of their images that they thought best depicted this phrase. Even now, after entering this one, I can think of a lot of others that I have taken that could also be a good representation of these words. But I am still glad that I selected this one. I named it "The Purple Hour." Photographers often want to take pictures at a time of day called "the blue hour," which is the period of twilight when the sun is at a significant depth below the horizon and residual, indirect sunlight takes on a predominantly blue shade. In this instance, the sun had set some time ago, but the rising moon against what had been a clear blue sky created lavender and purple hues. Even at the time that I captured this image, all was peaceful and very quiet. It was late fall and the cicadas and other insects of the night had ceased the talk to one another. The evening was silent. We live in a world that seems to always be in a perpetual state of surround sound. There are times, however, when silence is the best sound there is. You can lose yourself and the cares and worries of the day in pure and beautiful silence. And in nature I think it can often be viewed as a special gift. Apparently there were others of my peers that thought I had captured the essence of silent night with this image, too. It was rated in the top 50% of the photos submitted.