Thursday, August 13, 2009

Silent August

Last night I stepped outside to see the Perseids; I know they're around other than last night, but that was supposed to be the peak show. The fog, however, blocked the sky, and the only thing putting on a show was a bajillion crickets, all across the fields. And a lone barred owl at the edge of the woods.

In August I am sharply reminded that even though the garden is still showing off, the goldenrod is beginning to bloom, and the milkweeds are forming their fall seed pouches. It's half way to September, and except for a few crows and jays and the woodthrush, bird song has just about stopped. No more mating serenades, no more territorial warnings. Some of the swallows have already gathered and left, without much fanfare, off to the wilds of Tierra del Fuego for the winter.

In a week or two the sparrows and warblers will start packing it in for the summer, too, and there will be clouds of them out there, ferreting out every seed and insect they can find. It's a wonder they can even lift off after all of that *g*

But the crickets, now. We still have them, and that's not so bad, after all.


  1. I didnt see the meteor shower last night, but no matter how many I see, none will ever compare to the meteor shower I saw in Nov 16, 1966. There were 100s falling a minute. It was my first year after High School, so I remember the year, It was on my birthday so I remember the date. I have never seen anything like it since. If you need sparrows thru the winter I'll send you some. My barnswallow are just hatching for the second time this year. I miss the crickets in winter.

  2. our crickets start moving in about the same time the ladybugs do, lol.
    That shower sounds marvelous, harvey, it must be documented somewhere, as one of those once every so many years things, but yes, you don't forget seeing stuff like that.

    When I was about 19 we had a display of norther lights (which are less common here than they were) that was so impressive (we were out driving at the time) that everyone stopped, just stopped, in the middle of the highway to watch them. It was like being in front of one of those old jukeboxes with the rainbow dispaly, only lots more impressive...

    As to the sparrows, that's okay, they'd not live through the winter here, but thank you for the offer.

    One thing I do miss is barnswallows, we only get a few, now, since they seem to prefer barns and outbuildings--since we no longer have a serious barn, they go elsewhere.

  3. This is a thoughtful (and unavoidably bittersweet) tribute to August.

  4. august is like that, isn't it, Cindy. It's still summer, but it's the end of it all, too. and here in New Hampshire we have such a short summer anyway, (our growing season traditionally runs from June 1st to September 1st) that the decline is steep and swift. Even though the sun is still hot, and September can be as well, there's that edge.