I am trusting Mother Nature knows what she is doing, but I wish she would ‘chill’ just a bit. I suppose this heat is doing to us what the extreme cold does to our northern neighbors…forces, those who can, to stay inside for much of the day. I do go outside throughout the day, however. I must. I have discovered that the early morning is my favorite time; it is mild and, if you look and listen, very active and amazing. I know where the sun rises and sometimes, I can find the moon setting, not now, however, for the crescent moon has long ago set when I am outside in the early morning.
The morning is when a ‘kettle’ of hawks appears …flying over the woods, circling, hunting. They are beautiful and strategic animals, but somehow daunting. I suppose they are looking for field mice; the small mice that run into the woods from the tall grass when I cut the field. My chickens will be starting their day, waiting for the door of the coop to open to begin foraging (and making a mess in my flower beds), and my baby duck is wildly quacking and nervously fidgeting, impatiently waiting for a dip in Santiago’s little baby pool. Every morning the small animals that are near me do the same thing, every morning is a new day, and they all seem happy to be here and to begin once again.
The dragonflies and butterflies are feasting in the early morning also, sipping the summer zinnias, skimming the pool, sitting on the clothesline resting and planning their next attack. The birds are especially noisy in the early morning, talking to one another, making plans and flirting. And the squirrels are jumping from limb to limb already making mayhem in the pecan trees, already eating the green pecans I will never be able to crack. It is a very busy place this early morning scene.
If I attempt to go outside in the middle of the day, when temperatures reach the mid to upper nineties, I hear the deafening sound of the cicadas. I image they are happy in this heat, but I do not know that for sure. My chickens are, by the afternoon, just basking in a dirt bath they have made for themselves or hiding out in the shade, bellies somewhat full of the morning bug fests. My little duck is a new feature in my tiny menagerie, so I am not certain of his routine yet. I know he quacks incessantly and has beautiful iridescent feathers and eats a lot more than my chickens; he is cute and greedy.
I am not out for long in the middle of the day; it is difficult to be that hot.
The evening slowly spins in, and it is nice again. The new moon happened this past Monday. As you read this the moon will be five days old and a waxing crescent…growing until it is full again on August 1, the Full Sturgeon Moon. It is one of my favorite things in life, no kidding, watching the moon. It seems stoic and calm sitting there in the heavens observing. It has ‘seen’ everything, it has watched the Earth grow and change and it has witnessed all that mankind has endured, caused, and done. Don’t hate me for this or think I am foolish, but I somehow wish we had never landed there…its mystery disappeared with that first human step. I suppose it was a good thing that all those beautiful songs were written about the celestial orb before man walked on it, for now, the enigma and romance is somewhat gone.
And then evening falls, the world quietens, and the sun submits. People come out of their houses to water plants, ride bicycles, and Mother Earth becomes kind once again. A different medley of birds appears and can be heard in the tops of the trees. My bees are returning from their long journey, returning with pollen baskets on their tiny legs to bring to the hive. My chickens are finding their way back to the coops and roosting for the night; their day is done.
I watch the sun go down, sometimes hear the mosquito truck, lock up my hens and duck, and anxiously await the new day so we can, hopefully, do it all over again.
I close with a wish that you all manage to find a bit of beauty in these Dog Days of summer.
July 23, 2023