A late summer excerpt from my nonfiction book, Shenandoah Watercolors, a 2012 Epic eBook finalist. Free in Amazon Kindle from August 19th through the 21st.
We’ve had many misty starts to the day this August. Haze hugs the pond, parting just enough to reveal the long-legged blue heron fishing for his breakfast. There’s a country saying about the number of foggy mornings in August being an indicator for the amount of snows we’ll have this winter––a heap, at this rate.
Dozens of swallows skim over the pond as the sun sinks below the Alleghenies. If I were standing on a distant ridge, would it sink behind me, or the ridge beyond that one?
The water is calm now but was awash with waves during the storm that hit a short time ago. The grassy hill and maple tree are reflected on the surface, silvery and streaked with rose from the western sky. All is peaceful as a soft twilight settles over the valley. Utterly idyllic, until I pause to consider what all of those swallows are after. There must be clouds of mosquitoes.
Here’s another thought, where do all the birds spend the night? Are the woods up on the hill lined with birds perched wing to wing jostling for space on the branches? I’ll bet they make room for the big red-tailed hawk. He gets the whole tree––as many as he wants. It’s good to be king.
**Image of our pond taken by my mom, Pat Churchman
**Image of Hawk by daughter Elise taken up in the meadow behind our house