Friday, August 27, 2004

dusk in dallas

I take Camus out for a walk at dusk. The temperature has just fallen below 90 degrees but it’s not a comfortable 88 or 89. The humidity is so thick I think it’s pelting me with pinprick drops of rain until I realize it’s a tree pissing on me. I didn’t know for the longest time that there’s something inhabiting the hardwoods, primarily oaks and pecan trees in this neighborhood, and what people take to be dew or some such is really miniscule excrement pelting you in the face when you look up. Nonetheless, we continue our way west down the sidewalk and there’s still a good deal of pink tinting the edges of the clouds. Though the real sunset has slipped away there’s enough light to make out colors and to watch for the upheavals of concrete that might trip me. Camus hasn’t been this way lately because I’ve been working late and long hours so he takes extra time to stop and check his pee-mail. That’s fine by me; I get to enjoy the evening concert that’s in progress. The cacophony of locusts is peaking for the day and we’re enveloped in the sound of buzz saws that just fail to drown the sound of traffic. They don’t really sound like buzz saws but it is a sawing kind of noise. Each cicada has staked out its own tree. The thicker the population of trees the more cicada voices join in the chorus. As you proceed down the sidewalk the buzzes overhead, behind, and on the other side of the street fade as the ones ahead increase in volume. It’s great. I think the buzzing is not as robust as in years past. It’s also set to a higher pitch. Maybe the locusts had a poor winter and aren’t as big as usual. Tonight I also encounter many fireflies. The first of these “light bugs” are concentrated in a yard at the bottom of a slope, where there are 3 or 4 full-canopied trees and hedges along two sides of the house. I’m very happy to see the tiny bright gold lanterns glowing on and off. Later during our walk I pass four or five more concentrations of them. I notice some of them are neon green rather than bright gold. Finally, as we near our starting point I see a bird flying above the canopy of trees, then another, and another, maybe a dozen in all. At first I think maybe they are bats, but then get a better look at their silhouettes and see they’re all flying in the same direction, toward a particular treed area and realize they more closely resemble purple martins, probably headed toward a communal roost in the neighborhood. There’s no color left in the sky but the highest clouds are still slightly backlit when we get home. Mold has begun growing on me. I take a shower to remove it and the stinking insect repellant I’ve used to shield me from West Nile.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe the birds are after the lightning bugs???
Sometimes it looks that way, though I never heard if birds like to eat them or not.