August night, ten pm

The katydids were all over the windows last week, but they’ve vanished now. The moths are fewer too. Even the night chorus has changed its tune, just as the light has taken on a softer shape during the day.

Tonight, I’m trying to decide whether it’s too late to use the hairdryer, the one we used to use to heat the pipes in the basement before we figured out how to keep them from freezing, on the black ink cartridge in my printer to see if I can squeeze a few more very important pages out of it. I’m not sure I have it in me currently. Bed is warm and there are books to be read, and how likely is the hairdryer to succeed in its task? It’s the kind of hairdryer that longs for a more mundane existence, one where it dries hair in the morning and spends the rest of its day tucked away on a bathroom shelf.

More important than the hairdryer is the fact that the porcupines are arguing out beneath the wild cherry tree. They chatter and whine like…well, like something else entirely. The dog is too deaf to hear them, which is for the best. Everyone else is asleep, so I’m their sole audience tonight, unless they’ve woken the hens on the roost.

I think the answer is that tonight is not a night for mechanical things. No hairdryers, no printers, and, in a moment, no computers. Tonight is meant for lights out and ears wide, enjoying the sounds from the open windows before it comes time to seal the house up once again.


  1. I love this gentle ‘fall’ into autumn too.

    Whining porcupines – priceless!

    • Have you come across porcupine discussions in your travels? They can sound incredibly fussy. I think they’ve come calling on the crabapple tree, which means reminding the dog to stay clear of that corner of the yard.

  2. Hello–I just came across and read “The King’s Huntsman” at Giganotosaurus and wanted to say that I enjoyed it very much.

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