January 31st, 2005

bazille_summer scene

Preparing to Sweat

There's a heat wave coming. By Wednesday, it's going to be 62 degrees here! I'd better enjoy these nights in the thirties while I can. Sluggo had better enjoy them, too. A sweltering 62 will be enough to give him conniptions. He'll be unusable until well after nightfall, and I'll have to spend the afternoons basking in the sun, as the naked oaks and mulberry tree offer no shade, and there are no large pines near enough to the house to provide it until late in the day. I wonder if I ought to get some sun block? I burn easily. I'm probably doomed, with or without sun block. At this rate, I'll be crispy by March.

The good news is that my toes will finally have a chance to thaw out. I was sure they'd have to come off, after the last few weeks. I was expecting them to turn black with frostbite any day now. Well, it's out of the freezing pan and into the fire. Mmm, I'll have a reason for making iced tea now, too. I guess it isn't all bad, despite Sluggo's impending heat stroke. But I'm sure that still more flowers will bloom. Oh, will they be surprised when mid-February brings sleet and hail!

It's been nice tonight, though. There's been a bit of wind, and the moon is still bright enough to reveal the swaying of the pines. The mulberry tree is casting its winter brocade of shadows, which quivers slightly with the stronger gusts. I savor the cold, and listen to the owls hoot. Once in a while, a pine cone falls, setting up a clatter that evokes an oddly festive feeling, like a party noisemaker. If there were still leaves to be blown down, they'd most likely remind me of confetti. It's a good time for a party, though tonight I was the only guest. Maybe tomorrow night the deer will attend.


The north unleashes gusts of wind, and the tall, supple pines bend and sway. Frenzied silhouettes of branches thrash evening's deepening blue sky, while sunset flames the horizon's long, shallow arc. Scant minutes earlier, the placid air was held breathless by a soaring hawk, whose outstretched wings were the embodiment of dynamic repose. So sudden was the transformation from calm to turmoil, that it seemed almost as though the bird's wings, moved at last to speed its departure, had set this fury loose, the beaten air thrust into sympathetic flight, and then was day drawn down to night as if fainting at the sight of such wonders.