Monday, August 20, 2012


Dawn breaks ever later in the mornings, now. I notice this especially on Monday mornings after two days of not getting up at 5:30 a.m. This morning, I not only needed my headlamp but a lightweight sweatshirt, too, when Dog and I ventured outside. Somewhere behind the cabin, the screech owl calls, followed shortly by my rooster, Doodle. They yodeled back and forth a few times before the owl fell silent, victim of the coming dawn.

The forest is in one of those odd times, when nothing much is happening. The summer blooms are gone, with the exception of the Queen Anne’s Lace. Fall inches every closer, close enough to see and perhaps to smell, but it’s not here just yet. Not this week.

The first fall hawkwatches are open again. Some are even counting decent numbers for August already. At a gathering of fellow hawkwatchers a few weeks ago, we speculated that migration might come early this year due to the dry conditions. Perhaps that explains the good early-season results.

I still await the first nighthawks, those tiny scimitars that slice through the air. I sit on the shore of a pond at dusk, because above the water is open sky, the better to keep watch for them. So far I haven’t seen any, just the blue of bluebirds that fade into the dusk, the tiptoed steps of a deer, the last call of the pewees and the first evening flight of bats. When the nigthawks arrive, I will know for certain that fall is here too.

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