After the deer were gone, I listened to the night for a while. I could hear each leaf that fell from the oaks, glancing off of other leaves on its way to the ground. I could hear the barking of dogs very faintly, as from a great distance. I could hear my own footsteps, terribly loud, the way they are in a bad dream when you feel you must be silent to avoid attracting the attention of some threatening presence, but must move to escape the danger they present. I was glad I wasn't asleep.
For a while, Orion wore a filmy cape of moonlit cloud, which slowly enveloped him, and even the moon vanished among vapors for a dark hour. I thought there might be more unexpected rain, but the sky has since cleared, and only the seasonal, ground-hugging haze remains. Everything smells damp.
Last time I went out, a pine tree flung one of its cones at me, barely missing. I didn't go near the oaks. Acorns are small, but they can hurt if they smack your head.