Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Daughter of Earth and Water, Nursling of the Sky

July has been nearly as dry as June was wet in northern Illinois. The grass has turned a summer brown and the weedy Queen Anne's lace (Daucus carota) exults in parts of our yard, especially the spot where a garden used to be.

The back-yard deck is one of my favorite places around the house during summer. Except for those late-morning, early-afternoon cloudless hours when the Sun bears down on it intensely. By mid-afternoon, however, no matter how hot the day, the honey locust provides shade from the solar orb as it burns its way across the sky.

Some days, cumulus clouds float on by. Not long ago, I was able to take this picture, on impulse, sitting in one of the foldable camping chairs we keep on the deck.

Not bad. When I need a moment to put down whatever book I'm reading out on the deck (Digging Up the Dead: A History of Notable American Reburials right now), I can look for shapes in the clouds. I don't see much in this particular image, but often as not I'll see shapes from maps. One of these days, I want to see Sulawesi -- the Celebes, for old-timers -- up there, since it's one of the coolest map shapes there is.

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