In this evening's chill, I hear no sound of insects. There might yet be a few days of heat which will be sung to sleep by the cicadas, but if so, they will be rare, and thus precious, like fruits out of season. Most likely, there will soon be rain. It, too, will be welcome. In a few weeks, the legal burning season will begin, and the fallen leaves will be piled up and set alight, and the smell of their smoke and of the smoke of wood stoves and fire places will drift through the short days. I now recall that, in spite of the wet spring and the overheated summer, we did not suffer a single major fire this year. Brush fires are rare after September, so this will probably continue to be the case, and 2003 will thus have at least this one virtue by which it can be remembered. But that means all the more fuel for next year. Maybe it's a plot, and 2003 has left a time bomb of desiccated brush with which to spoil next summer. That would be just like it. Evil year.
Now the settling darkness is growing still. The noise of passing traffic is no more than punctuation for lengthening periods of quiet. And now I hear in the distance a single hardy cicada braving the chill. Dogs are barking, too, maybe at raccoons out for an early stroll in the light of the nearly-full moon. The air does not smell quite like rain, but it's getting there. It won't be long.
Bonus -- For your entertainment and edification: An actual product available online! I don't think that it's any cheaper than MD at Safeway, when they have buy one get one free sales on the 12 and 24 roll packs, but it would be quite amusing to have a few rolls displayed in the bathroom.