It smells damp, for the first time in weeks. Blessed coolness blankets the night, swaths of cloud drift by, and quiet fills the forest. Despite the scent in the air, there is not even the dripping of dew to break the stillness. These hours are too rare to spend with a cranky computer, or even a congenial book. I'm going out to sit in the dark and watch Orion rise.
Afternoon has been a splendid strew of clouds that build and unbuild ramparts, froth like slow waves against blue beaches, invent a hundred shades of gray, and bank the sunlight so that vague shadows fall in unexpected directions. A brooding hour of romantic gloom will be followed by bursting color as the sunlight floods trees and grass and roses, and mere brown pine needles are burnished gold or a coppery red. After weeks of commonplace skies, drama has returned and brought magic even to the monotonous landscape of late summer. All we need now is an thunderstorm, and August will have outdone even the most moody days of April. This is no time to stay indoors, so out I go.