November 22nd, 2015

caillebotte_man at his window

Dusk

The pile of leaves I raked in the back yard this evening is huge, and the raking didn't even uncover the entire lawn. The yard waste wheelie bins are both already full, and their contents won't be hauled off until after the next storm arrives on Tuesday, so today's leaves will get wet before it can be binned, and binning them will be a messy job. It might have been better to leave them lie so they could dry out a bit in the sun after the storm, but I wanted the grass to get some sunlight. It still hasn't turned green again, despite the recent rains that watered it, and I'm thinking it might be dead. There must be some seeds down among the roots that will grow eventually, but that might not happen until spring. I might have to look at a grayish brown lawn all winter.

Late last night I heard trumpeter swans. The flock was flying nearby, but I was unable to see them in the moonlight. So far I haven't heard any geese, but I expect them any evening now. They often come by before the sky is entirely dark and I get to see the flocks passing. But the swans almost always pass later at night. Both species must spend their days resting, perhaps on small lakes in the mountains, and then make the final leg of their journeys to the wetlands of the valley by dusk or night. When they leave in the spring they often pass earlier, and I sometimes get a glimpse of the swans then. They must be eager to get home in the spring.

Tonight I watched the sky grow dim as the fatly gibbous moon, already risen, climbed halfway up the tall pine tree beyond my back fence. Two of the feral cats, who had made themselves scarce all day, returned then to frolic on the cleared lawn and inspect the leaf pile in the pale twilight. Their soft footfalls seemed loud in the dusky stillness. Later I heard a dog barking somewhere to the north. A nearer dog answered, and then the dogs over the back fence, and then more distant dogs to the south until at last one dog on the edge of hearing barked. I wonder what message they were sending? I wonder how far it traveled?


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