September 12th, 2004


Time Turning with Sky

The thin rind of moon has not yet emerged from the forest, but the late summer constellations are clear tonight. Orion and Perseus are there, and the dippers, and I think that Pisces is directly overhead now. The lately turbid air has become lucid, and all the stars sparkle, and Venus gleams. Few of these warm nights remain, and I intend to enjoy them by spending as many hours as I am able watching the sky. I have shared most of this night with only a single cricket who chirps from a nearby yard. The katydids fell silent early. I did not miss them. I do not miss the sound of weekday traffic, either. Sunday, as usual, is placid. Though the night has been clear, I expect the cirrus clouds to return with dawn. It promises to be a pleasant day, as the cooling trend continues.

I did spend a bit of time on my intermittent Internet search for displays of the work of Peter Milton, and was rewarded with my first ever online view of his print called Victoria's Children, a copy of which is for sale here, along with several other of his strange and fascinating pieces. I've never seen a full-sized version of it, or any of Milton's works, and I'd dearly love to, but it's unlikely I'll get to any place where they are on display anytime soon. I'd buy one online, but the prices have gone quite beyond what I could afford. For the time being, at least, I'll have to content myself with these digital images.

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Lavender evening arrives, and the sourgrass flowers begin their daily closure. The yellowjackets who spent the afternoon circling mere inches above the lawn depart. A single blue jay perches on the telephone line, bobbing its head. At treetop height, a hummingbird darts, stops, darts, repeatedly, flying in and out of the last rays of sunlight. Suspended between day and night, the forest hesitates. A moment comes which is like a pause in a conversation. The hummingbird beats its wings to arrive at stillness, and everything else is stilled as well. The bird then drops earthward, swooping at the last moment, and vanishes among the mulberry leaves. The jay squawks once and follows. The color drains from the sky, the first star appears, and the serenity is broken by the sudden chirring of a katydid. For a moment it seemed as though a door had been opened and anyone might have passed through. Then there is a soft breeze. Leaves whisper, and ordinary night begins.