September 8th, 2014

caillebotte_man at his window

Slightly Late for Sunday

The moon is nearly full, and the mild night is perfect for watching the shadows creep about. The lower half of the house is not yet shadowed by the eaves, but sports the tangled shadows of the rose bushes. The exhaust turbine on the roof is spinning slowly, and the moonlight reflecting from parts of the metal causes three pale lights to flash by over and over again, like the ghost of some festive mirror ball in a dance hall demolished ages ago.

A mile or so to the north there is a hill with a curved road climbing it, and every now and then a car's headlights will sweep a patch of sky between two pine trees and fade into the night above. On another block nearby a dog was barking for about three minutes, but no other dogs joined in. All the time I was observing these things the feral cat who has to sneak into the yard to have dinner because the other feral cats run him off was crunching a bowl of food. He finished and crept off warily, crossing patches of moonlight as he made his way to the back fence, and I was left alone with the chirping and buzzing insects.

The earth turned and the eave shadow gradually swallowed the wall, and the rose bush shadows shifted onto the ground and grew less distinct. The breeze picked up and the turbine spun faster as the light moved upward and turned into a streak around its top. Cars passed less and less frequently, and finally there was only the sound of the insects and the occasional rustling of leaves. The air was not quite chilly enough to make me shiver, but I shivered once anyway. My thoughts let go of gravity and I closed my eyes and rose into the moonlit sky.

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For the first time in ages the evening was cool enough that I was able to open the windows before the sun set. Whether or not they'll have to be closed before dawn I don't yet know. Even if the house gets a bit chilly, I might just leave them open to welcome the first night that feels like autumn.

This afternoon a pair of hawks visited the neighborhood. The spent several minutes swooping and soaring, and I enjoyed watching their shadows rush across my yard. A couple of times the shadows flew across me— just a brief flicker of the light, but it felt as though the hawks were inviting me to join them. I had to stay on the ground, though, because there were things to be done.

I got a few more windows washed. As the days grow shorter the light becomes softer and I like to let more of it in. Clean windows will let me see the trees change colors better, too, once that process begins. I'm looking forward to the day I don't have to close the windows at all, and when one slides over the other and I have to look through two sheets of glass they need to be spotless.

A couple of the rose bushes needed to be trimmed, too. I lately had one rose that was bumped up against the rain gutter when it bloomed because the stem was so long. Can't be having that. What would the hummingbirds think?