"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Sunday sound of Cicadas

Sunlight dapples the back yard lawn this Sunday morning, filtered through the leaves of live oak, white oak and blackjacks. The trees are alive with the sounds of cicadas, or tree frogs, or some sorts of insects.

Leaves and branches from last week's storm still litter the grass. Because of all the shade back ere, my crepe myrtles are reaching for sparse sunlight and blooming late. My herb garden with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme--Thank you Simon and Garfunkle--plus oregano and mint, flourishes in a patch of sunlight, near a psychedelic gazing ball on a stand--a gift from a friend who knew I needed to spend more time gazing into possibilities. A Mississippi kite soars overhead, and I've seen its shadow pass overhead, and off somewhere morning doves are cooing to each other. An occasional robin's chirp, and a chickadee's twit offsets the fussing of a couple of squirrels in the high branches overhead, jumping from one tree to another, or climbing a trunk trying to get to the bird feeder.The bird bath is still at the moment, but once it heats up later today, the chorus of insects in the trees will change to the music of cardinals and titmice and wrens and chickadees.

It's a New York Times morning, on the back porch, coffee cup before me as I thumb through the pages, wondering at all the energy and talent that brings that bastion of great journalism to my driveway each week. I go out the front door early, looking for the blue plastic bag that contains the treasure, always somewhat afraid it won't be there.

A zephyr --what a wonderful word and feeling--brushes my face and ruffles leaves and the pages of the Times on the table, refreshing my thoughts in the cool morning air.

That's brewing in my summer coffee pot.

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