Slowly, the dusk haze formed clouds like flocks of sheep and feathery fans, and the round moon rose to light them. Silver and gunmetal draping black velvet, the aerial display drifted over somnolent, balmy woods, where shadows gave way to even, milky light, and then returned, again and again. All the dry, grassy-scented night, a single surviving cricket sang lonely chirps. Once the moon had settled behind the dense foliage of the oaks, the clouds returned to their hazy, formless state, and the sky was starless but for red Mars in the east. But the moon, where I could glimpse it amid the leaves, grew even redder than Mars as the sky paled toward morning, as though some smoke had risen from the valley to obscure it. The hours of clarity now seem like something I might have dreamed, and the prospect of another sultry day like waking to thirst in a desert.