August began with an unmistakable omen in the eastern sky, in the form of a full moon in all its celestial glory. Tonight the same, now-waning lunar body also marks the midpoint of summer, halfway between the summer solstice and the autumnal equinox.
We’re also experiencing the peaking of summer’s heat, when the sun’s relentless force is beginning to show signs of weakening,
A great deal of warmth comes with the full moons of August, smothering the land like a hot and humid blanket. Mosquitoes are humming, dragonflies – in all their translucent gossamer colors – skim atop the stagnant waters and crickets fiddle away in full deafening choir. Leaves hang limp, sweltering in the afternoon heat. Dust devils swirl above sun-baked fields.
Birdsongs fade and nesting has pretty well wound down. New flight feathers are being tested; swallows and martins swing in graceful sky dances, scooping up the flying swarms of mosquitoes and gnats into their open maws.
Hazy vistas of trees, grass and shrubs lie under a mix of blue and white skies. We have attained summer’s pinnacle. The rest of the year is downhill.