July 15th, 2003

caillebotte_man at his window

Silken Revels

Clouds have appeared. About four hours ago, a few of them formed overhead, glowing in the bright moonlight. They were clusters of small, white clouds, each cluster being veined by dark lines of sky showing through. They seemed like the prints of giant hands that had been dipped in a grayish-white paint, and reminded me of the hand prints that have been left at many sites in the Australian outback.

An hour later, most of the sky was covered in clouds, but by then the image they suggested was a section of a complex river delta, with clusters of pale, ghostly brush separated by channels of dark water, varied in width, all forming a huge maze. The clouds drifted across the moon, but failed to obscure it, merely dimming its light a bit, and spreading it among themselves so that the entire section of sky around the moon was filled with softly glowing patches.

By the time the sky began to pale with the approach of dawn, the clouds which had not dissipated were slowly drifting northward, and the dim stars were unveiled once more. Now, as the first birds chirp, the clouds have all but vanished, leaving only a few vagrant tatters as reminders of their brief passage. The day will most likely show but the blue void of summer, and the sun will again bake the unshaded earth. I miss the clouds, already. Perhaps they will appear again tonight.
caillebotte_the balcony

Wilted

Leaves are falling from the oaks. Pale and dry, these prematurely fallen leaves crumble easily, and they are covered in brown spots, and have little holes bored through them. Some small creature has been munching on them. In a normal year, there would be a few of leaves falling this early, but this year they are numerous. The heat, most likely. Other plants are suffering, as well. In particular, the sourgrass by the front door, in spite of being sufficiently watered, has shriveled up, the green stalks turning yellow and bent flat against the ground. Heat.

Until a couple of years ago, I would go for afternoon walks on even the hottest days. Two relatively mild summers in a row have spoiled me. Now, even the evenings feel uncomfortably warm. I become more like the cats, desiring to spend the hot hours of the day napping in some dark corner. Unfortunately, no one is going to open a can of food for me, so I must go now and cook. I wonder if I could adjust to a raw diet?

Later: Sluggo had to nap before I could post. The evening has turned almost pleasant, with a bit of breeze helping to dissipate the day's heat. No sign of clouds yet, but last night they didn't begin to form until well after moonrise. I can wait.