The owl began hooting early this evening. The western sky was still that deep shade of daylight blue which lingers for a few minutes at the margin of night, and a few streaks of cloud glowed pink. A cricket had begun to chirp, but no stars had yet appeared, when the midnight sound of the owl emerged from a nearby wood. It continued as the sky darkened, and the now autumnally intricate silhouettes of the oaks slowly merged with night, as the last cerulean glow that revealed their diminished clumps of foliage and the lately exposed branches faded to black. Without a breeze, the air nonetheless cooled quickly, as though the land were eager to surrender the remnants of the balmy day. I found myself saddened by the brevity of dusk, the loss of that color and vanishing of the stark detail of the silhouetted trees. Everything else seemed to be in such a rush, goaded by that early owl who hooted and hooted the world into darkness.