Late fall

I took a long walk this afternoon, out to Fort Phoenix beach in Fairhaven. The wintering waterfowl have returned to the waters around Fort Phoenix: goldeneye, mergansers, loons, Brant, scaup, Bufflehead, grebes. I found myself crossing the bridge from Fairhaven to New Bedford just after sunset.

It had been a warm day, but as soon as the sun disappeared it started to get cold. The sky was one of those clear skies that you get in late fall or winter, and in the west it glowed orange-gold. I could see low dark clouds along the sourthern horizon, probably a bank of fog out to sea. I stopped at the Dunkin Donuts on Pope’s Island for a small decaf and a plain doughnut, and I watched it get dark while I sat there desultorily reading the newspaper. Not even five o-‘clock yet, and already dark.

Except that when I went back outside, it wasn’t completely dark. The sky was still bright from the setting sun. The moon, just a few days past new, added its own brilliance to the sky. Even though I was walking along a four-lane highway in the middle of the city, it all felt just a little bit magical.