Best light - dawn or dusk?

Even non-photographers know that the best time of day to shoot is either 1 hour after sunrise or 1 hour before sunset. Riiiiight? Well, I beg to differ. Don't get me wrong, I love those times of day and they do provide a refuge from harsh afternoon sun. However, there is something to be said for a middle of the day shine. I have found, unexpectedly, that I really enjoy the light at the "bad" hours during the day. The key is to find shade or to make the harsh light work for you...not against you. It's not the easiest, but I like a challenge. I find that middle of the day light is vibrant, pretty, and brings a special vibe into my photos. I work with a lot of babies and children who just don't like to be awake at 7:30pm! We've made middle of the day shoots work for us, and in doing so, I have found a new appreciation for it.