Saturday, August 16, 2014

August Auguries


Gray day calm.
August is summer all worn out. Greens are dull and the creek water syrupy brown. Days are tired and nights still. Seagulls perch atop pilings with beaks agape in the heat, listless and irritable if disturbed.

August is summer all worn out, but too early to see the audacious yellows, golds and reds of autumn. August is much like the colorless gray of deep winter despite full-leafed forests. Dry faded cornstalks rattle in the breeze under burning suns. Farm roads and crop rows cloud with dust.

August can be a confused month. Last week was a prelude to fall with pleasantly warm days and coolish nights. Yet next week brings August's stubborn grip on the worst of summer with highs in the 90s and lows in the not-so-low mid-70s -- humidity and afternoon thunderstorms assured.

August is a month we must endure. We cannot reach the seasonal shift of September without crossing from July into August. The promise of relief from summer's heat urges a sort of patience; we have no choice. Hurricane season continues to build with the warming tropical latitudes, and storms spin off the Sahara past the Cape Verde islands. We can  only watch and wait; we have no choice.

The yellow "X" marks a storm coming off Africa. In a little
more than a week, it can be a hurricane off the coast of the US.
(Graphic from National Hurricane Center this date.)

There are no pterodactyls (pelicans) soaring on the wind and few seagulls. Even the ospreys are quiet. No dolphins frolic in the creek, no doubt keeping to the deeper cooler waters of the sound and ocean. We see few fish except for several schools of bait fish --menhaden and trout -- constantly ruffling the cove. The deer hide in deep shade in the surrounding woods.

In the crab trap, baited with the remnants of grilled chicken breast, I hauled up four crabs and a pinfish. The humble pinfish sparkles with a fine, bold tracing of yellow accenting the panels of iridescent blue on a field of silver. Yes, it is a small and bony fish, but the firm white meat is very flavorful. I released them all.

The shrimpers seem to be doing well. On Wednesday morning, after only two full days of trawling, several boats returned to port. They only stop trawling when full.

Time to cool in the pool. Cheers.

Storm across river.


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