The darkness folds down in satin layers, summer softening the transition into night. Cotton clouds flash and flicker along the horizon, and a few stray fireflies drift through the humid air, signaling back to the distant storm. The clicking, murmur, and chatter of frogs and insects fills the trees.
High in the sky, the bright spot of Jupiter waits for the waning moon to come for a late-night rendezvous.
The hours pass and the excitement of dusk settles. The stuttering call of the Barred Owl comes out of the forest beyond. Its round, welcome, and deep-voiced repetitions reassure me—all is well.