Last night the rain persisted longer than I'd expected, and dawn's gloaming was gray and wet. The feral cats spent all night heaped on the chaise on the back porch. This afternoon they burned off their accumulated energy with much cat frolic. I feared for the lilac bush when two of them scaled it at once, and then their mom joined them. The bush survived, and so did the kittens, though one of them leaped from near the top to surprise the third who was taking a drink from the bowl under the bush. It was an effective surprise, and the startled kitten leaped and ran ten feet before realizing he'd been punked. Then he turned and chased his tormentor. Kittens are no end of entertainment.
The afternoon was of course delightfully cool, though bright as the clouds began breaking. Best of all, either the rain or the chill has silenced the nearby cicadas tonight. I hear a group of them buzzing in the apple orchard, but distance reduces their noise to a background buzz that is not entirely unpleasant.
Now I'm going to indulge in my annual ritual celebrating the first chilly night after summer, which is to go outside in my shirtsleeves and enjoy shivering as I look at the stars. There'll be plenty of time to be bundled up in sweaters and jackets when autumn comes.