Great white steams of cloud hugged the mountains all afternoon while the valley sweated a gray haze. Here the blue sky displayed small white puffs in rows, or long, thin streaks peaked like meringue, or broad translucent sheets feathering at their ends. My eye was continually drawn to the sky every time I went outside. Had snakes invaded the yard I'd have been bitten for sure. The sky, I kept thinking, was where all the air cooled and where I'd rather be than here on the sultry ground. No shade of pine or oak could console me, and even when air conditioned the house felt stuffy and clammy. All I wanted was to fly to that celestial coolness and it was too much to ask. Another August day and weeks of it to go. The day's only delightful event was when, near dusk, a young grasshopper alighted on my window screen and was the most astonishing green I've seen all year.