Finally! The gloom and fog of the previous nine days has gone, kicked out Saturday night by a strong storm. And now, it’s suddenly September. Oh, I know the calendar won’t agree with me for another six days, but it now feels like September. This morning the sky is crystal clear, the humidity low, and the temperatures lower. It feels wonderful.
It is also dark. When Dog and I started our morning walk today, the eastern sky was dark. Orion was even visible in the eastern sky. This was the first day this season I’ve been able to see the morning version of Orion. The Great Hunter won’t be an evening constellation for another few months, but he has been prowling the early morning sky for some time now. I’m just not awake then to see him.
The darkness shouldn’t be a surprise, but after nine days of no visible sunrises at all, the difference from before is a jolt. Before the fog and rain arrived, I could see a tinge of color in the east, and the sky overhead was steel blue and already too light for stars. Now, only the east has a hint of steel blue, and the first orange of sunrise is still nearly an hour away.
Another outcome of the better weather is that the robins and starlings have returned to the mountain top. Where they disappeared to during the rain and fog, I have no idea. Certainly the weather off the mountain was no better than on the mountain. And worms for the robins are just as prevalent in the mountain’s mud than the valley’s. But they had disappeared and now they’re back. Ditto the starlings.
Baby Dog is still stopping at the same spot every morning to check (and hope) for a reappearance of the foxes. It has now been nearly four weeks since her original encounter, and her hope hasn’t dimmed. So I should not be surprised that when she found a toad this weekend, once her nose touched it she backed off like it was red hot. It’s been nearly a year since Baby Dog tried to eat the first toad she ever found. She foamed at the mouth for hours after that encounter, and judging by her reaction this weekend she hasn’t forgotten.
Today's photo was taken yesterday, before the last of the clouds moved out. The fog had lifted, and the sky was already clearing, but not yet enough to see blue sky. The view is of Neff's Hill, which some local folks also call Nell's Hill (old l's and f's often looked alike).