Thursday, September 08, 2005

approach of the equinox

Cooler weather is on the way!

...At last, at long last, just when I think I can't take the heat, the heat that hits you like a blast furnace when you crack open a door to the outside, the heat that settles on your shoulders like a weighty backpack when you walk about, the heat that reflects from the sidewalk into your shoes, there's respite in sight. The night tells me the heat is getting tired. When I leave the warehouse at the approach of midnight the air is lighter than it was last week. The heat's not strong enough to stay attached to the ground once its ally, the sun, sets. The scent of wet earth from the sprinklers is audible now - the heat can't prevent it wafting toward your nostrils and infiltrating your sinus. The thermometer in my car mechanically confirms what my senses feel; it's ten degrees cooler than it was even at 2 a.m. in previous weeks.

Do the squirrels know one of their numbers has been killed by the yellow dog that barks at their taunts as they perch just out of reach in the trees? Their behavior seems less bold; they do not perch so low now, nor do they forage openly on the ground while the dog rests sphinx-like, calculating the distance as the red rodents inch ever farther from their escape route. For now the dog-taunters recede into the branches, invisible but for the half-eaten acorns they let fall to the ground. Soon, though, they will forget, I think, and the game will once more be afoot.

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