A tiny back of brown fur in the garden plants -- it darts away and shows itself not a squirrel but a rabbit. (After a minute of darting about and freezing as they do, it darts under a bush, thus protecting itself.)
Clouds above the hills -- the hills' green shifting from the shadow of clouds, and the clouds themselves, shaped like anvils, blue from the shadows of higher clouds, except for the billow top of one that managed to reach high enough to gleam white.
Every walk by, day or night, the honeysuckle announces its blooming without sight. So honey sweet on the air. . . I am not sure I could tell rose from honeysuckle blind, without knowing the year, but today I think I can.
Evening, but still light enough that I can clearly see the small brown shape on the road -- too small to be a squirrel or robin or dove, too brown to be a chipmunk, wrong shape to be a finch -- and it shifts, and yes, it is a baby rabbit barely larger than a chipmunk but still wise to bolt for the brush.
Among the cattails, the evening cries are deep and intermittent. Too rough to be a duck quacking, and the deeper ones are like a cow lowing.
The forest is dark, despite the streetlights that let you pick out the trees, and the fireflies are flashing away, like white LEDs.
The rose bush on the roadside -- with bramble and wild trees all about -- must be feral. The flowers are small, but fiercely red, and multifoliate.
Zipping along the road past a farm, I wonder what beasts will in the farmyard -- I've seen both cows and pigs -- and for a moment, it looks like a cow -- large, darkest brown, lumbering about -- and yet it's a pig.
In another place, you can see the lights through the stand of trees. The only way to be sure it's a firefly is to stand very still, so the branches do not shift to reveal or conceal the streetlights -- only the fireflies blink.
The sun has set, the gloom is growing, and the evening air feels -- odd. It seems crispy, as if the cooling air did not yet show any sign of the promise of dew.
Pitter-pitter, pitter-pitter goes the rain on the umbrella, but the ground is not even flecked with wetness.
I look at my watch and a moment later see the glow go on -- except under my shirt. I don't feel the firefly but I shake the shirt real good to scare it out. (It looked JUST like some kind of LED attached.)
Once, there was a roadside filled with trees. Then they were clear-cut except for a few, and the few were feeble, spindly things. Now, you need a more experienced eye than mine to pick it out, they are all boughs up and down their trunks.
I walk by evening (and it's still not cool) and as the walkway leads between a stand of townhouses on one hand, and a retaining wall nearly as tall as I am on the other, with a strip of grass between me and the wall, I startle a rabbit. It bolts along the way and stops, bolts again when I catch up, bolts again when I catch up -- it take six repetitions before the hare-brained beast bolts the other way.
The brook waters are murky. A dark shadow in them looks vaguely turtloid in shape, and then its dark nose visibly pokes out to breathe, and it shifts a little. Smaller than the last turtle I saw here, though the lack of reference makes it hard to tell.
Two squirrels slink across the road, like a stalking cat, or spies out of melodrama.
On the roof of the supermarket are -- birds. Enormous, black, of untidy feathers, and certainly not gulls, though that is what the cry most sounds like. Eyeing as I walk in makes it clear the heads are too feathered to be black vultures, so the only conclusion is that they are gargantuan ravens.
On one hand, a field of grass in seed, as yellow as wheat, with Queen Anne's lace delicate and white and filling up the field so thickly that you can not look anywhere without seeing it. On the other, the median is filled with low grass, a delicate and dainty shade of green, almost silvery in places.
Kersplash in the brook -- leaving two sets of concentric circles radiating out, and no conclusion but that it must have been frogs, but the inspection shows a shoal of dark fish, absolutely still in the water. Or perhaps they are the slim, long shadows of flat rocks with a bit of space beneath? No, after a minute some swim about a bit.
The cicada begins, the whirring cry, for just a bit -- then it is just the beginning.
The sumac has turned fiery red and orange and gold, and it is just the beginning of August.