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Commentary

Poor Will's Almanack: August 13 - 19, 2019

perseid meteor shower
Steve Ryan
/
Flickr Creative Commons

I stayed up to watch the Perseid meteors, but the moon was too bright for me to see more than a few shooting stars. And now that gibbous moon is setting, the sky is getting light,  and I am still awake. The morning is windless, misty and cool. Crickets are chanting never pausing, cardinals competing with them, blue jays give their bell-like calls, crows caw a few blocks away

Two bumblebees lie in the last bee balm flower, Hoverflies, tiny, shining, gold and orange explore the arching stems of the jumpseed plant that still holds a few of its tiny white blossoms. Cabbage white butterflies check for pollen in the zinnias.

A spined micrathena spider (a small triangle of white and brown and black) in a wide web stretches from a branch of forsythia to Janet’s redbud tree, and another micrathena waits between Jeanie’s redbud and a bamboo tree, both spiders returning to the center of their webs on guard, defiant against impossible odds, when I approach.

Two peaches, yellow-green, bruised and blotched, have fallen from my ancient peach tree. When I turn them over with my foot, I see their undersides rotting dark orange and juicy. Above them pokeweed berries are deep purple, and green milkweed pods are fat, prickly and sticky.

So I missed the best of the meteor shower. But there is plenty to see after all.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the third week of Late Summer. In the meantime, look for the Perseid meteors, or just feel the morning and watch the moon go down.