Thursday, August 10, 2006

Shorter Days, Longer Nights

The shortening of the day’s light is really becoming noticeable here at Roundtop. When I walk Dog in the morning, it is almost dark. Last night it was dead dark by 8:45 p.m. I think I’m noticing it so much because in Ann Arbor this past weekend the sky still held some light until almost 10 p.m. It was very nice to have that extra time in the evenings, and I’m missing the idea of that, a bit.

Here at the cabin, the result of the shortened daylight is that my morning birding with Dog and/or Baby Dog is a lot less productive than it was just a week or so ago. I still see and hear morning’s earliest birds, like crows and eastern pewees, but the birds that don’t become active until the sun breaks the horizon are now missing.

Still, I have some compensations. I’ve started hearing the great horned owl again. This morning Dog and I saw a red fox that bolted in the direction of where the three kits hung out earlier this spring. Perhaps it was one of them, now on his or her own. We also saw three deer, a doe and two growing fawns, cropping grass in the near gloom.

The natural world always brings change of one kind or another—changes in weather, changes in seasons, changes in the patterns of life. What surprises me, in a way, is that the changes, the shifts from one season to the next are so visible on a daily basis. Summer isn’t just an unbroken spate of hot weather and greenery. The seasons are a continuum, an inexorable march of one tiny change to the next. Yesterday the change was a noticeably duller green to the vegetation, a yellowing of the grass on the slopes. Today the change is a darker morning walk, a fox and three deer. Tomorrow will be another change.

Today's picture is the setting full moon that I took this morning shortly after 6 a.m. when Baby Dog and I were on our morning walk.


pablo said...

Well, I just spent a delightful afternoon going through all of your archives and reading your posts. I really envy your lifestyle, and I hope to achieve it myself someday.

I hope I may come back.

Julia said...

You know, a few days ago it seemed darker than usual at the dog park at 8pm, and this morning's dog walk was downright dim. In the back of my mind, I was wondering about it, but I hadn't fully faced it yet - we're sliding into fall. Thanks for the heads-up.

Carolyn H said...

Pablo, I'm glad you enjoyed your visit to my blog. Come back any time.

Carolyn H said...


The early hours of darkness are just about the only thing I don't like about fall and wainter. And ice storms, but at least they don't happen every day.

Carolyn H.