Monday, June 05, 2017
The calm before the storm is never as calm as it seems. The noises are quieter, but if you stand ever so still and hold your breathing, they are there.
The squirrels do their acrobatic show high in the 150-foot tulips, where the air is thin, leaping fearlessly from branch tip to branch tip and causing a rustling that you can hear, barely, if you listen. They land perfectly and the movement of the branch is the only evidence unless a rare leaf gets knocked to the lawn. When you look up you may see a brown shadow disappear on the other side of that big oak tree.
The noisy frogs have grown quiet and bees no longer buzz. The birds are no longer singing, but they do chirp unrhythmically in the deep green shade of the forest as if moving a twig here or there to gird their nest for the impending wind and rain and shushing the little ones who may be afraid of the darkness in midday.
Some larger animal moves carefully in the ravine with the snap of a twig. Perhaps it is that young doe that grazes at the edge of the lawn each morning as I watch from the kitchen window with my first coffee. She is usually hard to startle but she also must be heading for shelter as she dips her head below the branches of the holly tree.
The lawn mowers and leaf blowers are finally silent in the neighboring yards and wheeled items rumble toward the garages or sheds for shelter.
I hear the first rumble coming from down at the end of the river and when I look in that direction I see a blue gray ridge of clouds spreading. The tops of the trees across the river fling wildly back and forth against the gray backdrop. I sigh. I also will now have to seek shelter.