rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,

Harvest Moon and Night Visitors

It has been a perfect night for the harvest moon, with no trace of cloud or haze to deflect the light. After midnight, as the shadow draws up the front wall of my house, even the reflected moonlight is bright enough to illuminate the details of the undersides of the eaves. The color of the pansies is faintly visible, and the needles of the ponderosas shine out against the indigo northern sky. The oaks are frozen bursts of pale light. Only in the deepest shade of dense groves is there any real darkness.

It is one of those nights when sounds carry. The chorus of insects chirping in the warm air is augmented by the occasional bark of a dog and the rustle of leaves when the intermittent breeze softly stirs them and all the moonlight they reflect shivers and glimmers.


Late in the night, when the moon had slipped low enough to cast the far side of the street into the shade of the pines, as I sat in the shadow of the mulberry tree, I heard from a distance the faint clop of a deer's hoof on the pavement. After a moment, more hooves. They were coming up the street, pausing for a moment now and then to browse on the rose hedge, then resuming their procession. One shaft of moonlight still fell on the street from the gap between two trees. At last, the first deer stepped into that light, and paused. I saw the light fall on the velvet of his antlers, and then he moved into the darkness farther north. He was followed by three does who passed, one by one, through the shaft of light. I sat very still, and listened as they continued up the street. They passed through a few, more distant, patches of light, and the sound of their hooves faded. A few minutes after they had vanished, I heard dogs barking on the next street over. A few minutes more, and the dogs fell silent, and all I heard was the chirping of the insects.

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