The edge of the porch, that is. It’s a cloudy evening, but it’s not yet sundown, if the sun could be seen. It’s darker than normal for this hour of the day, though. The dog has just sniffed her way out to the road and fertilized and watered the white pines out there. Then she sniffed and snuffled her way back to the house. She’s not big on pointless exercise, but she’s all for sniffing. Along the way, she stops to mark territory nearly as often as a male. Now that we’re back, I urge her to jump up the step and get on the porch, then I walk her along the edge as I tread the sloping ground below. When I get to proper sitting height for me, I park myself on the edge of the porch and she lies down by my right thigh. We sit here often and survey our domain.
It feels a bit cool to my wife, who stepped outside for a few minutes earlier. It’s just right for me and the dog. The young crows must be out of the nest. I hear them at the field’s edge behind the neighbor’s house, still begging for food, but at various locations now, instead of just one. There’s a little twittering in the woods around our own house, as if the song birds are thinking about roosting. Two or three birds are making a small fuss in the dying oak in the front yard. I can’t see them from my angle and think they might be blue-jays. Finally, they fly to the white pines by the road and I see that they’re boat-tailed grackles. Two are larger, one smaller, like it might be their only surviving nestling. They soon move away to the main woods.
The “kids” in the trailer about 200 feet away don’t let the slight coolness keep them out of their small above-ground pool. They just put up a privacy fence around the small deck around one side and want to test it out, perhaps. I hear them and their two children remaining at home (two have grown up and left) laughing, talking and giggling. Their voices are muted by the finger of woods between our places. Only one voice comes booming through, that of a somewhat older lady who’s been living with them the last few months. I don’t know if she’s just a “big-mouth broad” or if the beer has turned up the volume.
An Indian Hen makes its silent, swooping flight to the dying oak, knocks off a few pieces of loose bark as it looks for bugs, then flies away making its loud, insane-sounding call. A four-wheeler fires up a couple houses away and takes off toward a neighbor’s place. Half-a-mile away, I hear some kid roaring along in his car, letting off the gas to make the hard left, squealing his tires not from spinning but from side-slippage, then giving it more gas as he hits the next straight-stretch as he continues my way. Before long, he roars by, squeals around a slight bend before the next neighbor's place and then roars into the distance. It’s still a little early for whippoorwills, but the mosquitoes are making themselves known, so we give one last listen to the rustling of the breeze in the oaks, rise and reluctantly retreat to the house for the evening. © 2013-