September 26th, 2010


Coming and Going

The cicada chorus continues to set the night buzzing. None are nearby, but the sound from the orchard is constant. There must be hundreds of them, or thousands, ensconced in the undergrowth there. In a few weeks I'll begin finding them in the sink on my back porch. I don't know why they come here to die. Possibly the porch light attracts them. Perhaps if I keep the light out during the period when the cicadas die they'll fly toward the moon instead, and feed the bats and night birds instead of wriggling themselves to death in my sink.

As the cicadas approach death, the back lawn is beginning to come back to life. I've been watering the parts of it nearest the walnut tree. The water is intended for the tree, but the grass inevitably snags a share. About 400 square feet of it is sprouting new blades, green and soft. The feral cats like it. Farah rolls on it, and she and Alger like to romp across it in the evenings. Portia would probably enjoy it too, if I let her out back, but she only gets to go out the front door. If she wants to chew some grass she has to visit a neighbor's yard.

This evening I finished off the last of what will probably be my last watermelon of the year. They are getting too expensive this late in the season. There have been some nice grapes in the markets, though, and more pears should be arriving soon. But I'll still miss the watermelons.


The heat will be returning for a week. This afternoon the north wind blew the desert's dryness here, to make the brown grass crackle and to dessicate the oak leaves. More of the leaves are falling, and it will soon be time to fetch the rake and start uncovering the lawn. A few days of desert winds are likely to bury it. I'll wait for a cooler day before raking, though. Desert winds and rakes don't play well together. The wind would rather play with the leaves.

Tonight the wind has fallen still, silencing the leaves, letting the cicadas and crickets have their turn at serenading the woods. The waning moon's light paints the houses, and flickers from the barely-stirred pine needles. The air is still warm, and heavily scented with dry grass. Old summer has fallen asleep, and the night is its dream of its vanished youth.

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