Saturday, August 13, 2011

August calling

I should be out there watching for meteors. It's the Perseids tonight, an event that sweeps the night sky of mid-August in random streaks, some years one a minute. Wild stitches in the canopy. Always lends the month a touch of mystery.  Something other months can't boast, even ones with their own meteor showers. It's like a secret code. That Italian magical-realism war movie, Night of the Shooting Stars, that was set during the Perseids.

I went out last night, but the moon glare was pretty bright. I didn't get further than Adams before walking home. The night was lit up like a murder scene from Perry Mason, with Tragg and Drake laboring down a hill to a suspicious black sedan, its doors flung open incriminatingly. I might have seen something that might have been a tremulous whisker, but it consumed itself like a mark on a magic slate.

Now it's the night of the 12th, supposedly the peak. I find myself reluctant to chase after these almanac milestones with the zeal I once did. I was present at least one night. Even if I didn't drive out to Rock Meadow as I have in other years, lying down on a hillside, letting my eyes roam the starry gazillions. Ah, there! It only takes one, but then you get greedy. Tonight I let them draw their chalkmarks unobserved.

It was a good day, though, one of those high August days of clipper ship clouds in a vacation-blue sky, and the Spy Pond song sparrows, the youngsters, were practicing their newly-mastered cadenzas, and the renditions are sounding more ornate, and less sticking-to-the-template than they were a week ago. The female mallard ducks looked as pondworthy as kayaks. I walked up to Menotomy Rocks park, hoping to hear a wood-pewee in the woods and I did, after a while. The importuning pee-oo-wee? repeated like a kid going "I gotta pee," followed by the wistful "pee-oooo," as in "never mind."

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