July 26th, 2002

caillebotte_man at his window

Summer Nights and Days

The last couple of nights have been pleasantly cool, though the days continue to be hot. Those who sleep nights, (which, in this town, is almost everyone,) probably wake late in the night from the chill and fetch another blanket. Sleeping in the daytime, I wake from the heat and fling blankets off. When I rise, I often find a cat curled up on one of them.

The evening is the time I go for a walk, now. I enjoy the summer evening light. Summer's sun, even close to setting, has an energizing brightness that is lacking in even the mid-day sun of winter. At the place where the road drops down into the broad vale east of my house, I can see the pines that rise along the last ridge, about a quarter of a mile away, bathed in the evening light. The vale itself is in shadow, then, but in summer, even the deepest shade has a light which is filled with warmth.

When the days grow short again, I will miss these evening walks. The streets are quiet. Often ,there is not even a breeze to rustle the leaves or hum through the pines. Perhaps there will be the chatter of a lawn sprinkler. Sometimes, I hear children playing in a back yard, or the sound of a television or radio through an open window. Cars seldom pass. Mostly, I hear only the songs of the evening birds, or the flutter of their homing wings. I, to, usually return to my house as the light begins to fade, and sit for a while in the yard to watch the purple twilight fall behind the darkling orchard. Thus do my summer nights begin.
caillebotte_the balcony


There was so much haze when I woke up today that I thought there must be a fire somewhere. But there was no smell of smoke in the air. The day was merely out of focus. That happens sometimes. I wonder if the Sacramento valley's air pollution is getting so thick that it's actually spreading into the mountains? It wouldn't surprise me.