The desert winds that have plagued Southern California were supposed to have been shifting in our direction, but this evening the sky began hinting that we're going to get Oregon's weather instead. Following a bright, warm day, thin clouds began to gather and the air cooled quickly. Now the lines of cloud have rolled like pale, silent breakers trailing ghostly foam from west to east, turning the whole night sky milky and lending the round moon an immense halo. It will be a nice night to watch the sky.
I'll see more sky from the front yard tonight, too, because the mulberry tree has been partly cut back. About half its branches still need to be taken down, but the half that has undergone its pollarding is now little more than a grotesque, gnarled skeleton a dozen feet tall. It'll be atmospheric for Halloween, but it will also leave the yard terribly exposed to sunlight and moonlight and passing spy planes (the last probably not a big problem just yet—give it a couple of years.) Another reason to hope for mild weather. I'll miss the lovely autumn light filtered by its green and yellow canopy, but the bright side is that taking it down this early in the season means there'll be almost nothing to rake in the front yard this year but the stray oak leaves and pine needles. The mulberry canopy will take about three years to spread wide again, and then (assuming I'm still here) I'll be able to enjoy it for another two or three years before it has to be cut back again.
The gray kitty who slept on my back porch every night for a week or so has been absent the last two nights. Tuesday evening I was walking in the back yard when he crept under the fence, and upon seeing me unknowingly bearing down on him he fled. I was probably as startled by his sudden movement as he had been by my unexpected presence in his territory. He stopped a dozen paces beyond the fence, and I spoke quietly to him, but I think he might have been too distressed by the experience to return to sleeping in the comfy chair. Of course it's also possible that the successive balmy nights have provided him with reason to stay abroad hunting. Maybe he'll be back when the nights grow cooler again. I like having a cat on the porch, just as a sort of visual company, and doubly so now that I'll no longer be hearing the dog who lived next door snuffling about in the middle of the night, on guard against potential threats to the neighborhood from carousing raccoons, herds of voracious deer, and flurries of falling acorns.
And now I think I'm sad from all the recent changes. I never have liked everything to happen at once. I hope the fires will be out soon.