Our “Pods” moving container arrives tomorrow morning, and I was going to go to sleep early, so I could get up and take a walk before it arrived. But it’s just too hot to sleep — 10:05, and 86 degrees. I’m too cheap to put on the air conditioning, which means I’ll sleep fitfully, and my sleep will be filled with dreams. We hit 100 degrees here today — at least, that was the official high temperature today at the DuPage airport five miles from here. Heat advisories all day, dew point in the seventies. It stayed above 95 from late morning until after seven tonight. Hot, humid. At 4:30, I went out and walked down to the river. It was too hot to walk fast, and I always walk fast, so it was an unusual experience for me. Island Park, amazingly, was empty. The usual Sunday afternoon crowds on the river bike trail weren’t there — only the rare bicyclist passing through, one fisherman, and me. I stayed in the shade and wandered slowly downstream on the west side, behind the county complex along Route 31. Three big white Great Egrets, and two big Great Blue Herons, in the middle of the river desultorily stalking fish. Scores of Mallards stood on rocks in the middle of the water, fast alseep; the Wood Ducks stayed in the shade along the edges of the river. A few Spotted Sandpipers, who are gradually losing their spots as their winter feathers grow in, kept to the shady shallows on my side of the river. I sat in the same place for three quarters of an hour, not really watching the birds. At one point, for a moment or two, I understood something about the river… timelessness, not not quite that… the trees have actual personalities, like in those paintings by, not that’s not quite…. And it was gone. Not quite sure what it was, but it couldn’t have been put into words in any case.
According to the almanac, the sun rose today at 5:34 a.m., and set at 8:24 p.m. On June 21, the sun rose at 5:18, and set at 8:32 — not enough of a difference to really notice, but somehow the quality of the light seemed a little different this evening.
Or maybe it’s just because the sandpipers have already started migrating south. They’re always the first migrants I see. It was with a slight pang that I saw a Solitary Sandpiper along the Fox River on Monday, the first visible sign that we are moving towards fall.
But the days are still unbelievably fourteen and a half hours long, the nights short and restless, the heat has really settled in.
((p.s. happy birthday jean!))