Stars and Crickets

Tonight we had the first "fire" of fall. The afternoon was spent scrubbing soffits and painting, working on the endless maintenance of home ownership. Our high was only 73 degrees--the low tonight will be 51 (Fahrenheit) -- and we ended the day with grilled pork chops by a fire in the fire bowl. It has been an eventful week and there is something about a fire that helps put the brakes on that "busyness."

We moved from a much larger metropolitan area to our new home in Western North Carolina. We used to have fires there, too. The differences now (besides temperature) are the cacophony of insects and blinding expanse of stars. Even though we live inside the city limits, far fewer lights pollute the night sky--making it easier to see why some are drawn to study the envelope outside our atmosphere.

Back in the old days before digital cameras, I knew how to set up my 35mm to keep the shutter open for as long as I wished in order to record the few stars I could see. To do that with a digital---well, I know it must be possible, but I'm going to have to find the manual to see how. Pity.

The windows of the house are open and have been all day. I can hear the various critters of the night playing away on their fiddles--someday maybe I'll be able to identify them by voice. But not yet. I have added four toads to the yard in the last two weeks--brought from work (a rock yard) to (I hope) take up residence and work on the population of insects I'm not as fond of having around. They may be making a racket tonight, but I can't really tell--there are an awful lot of voices in the choir tonight. Maybe they're glad for the break in the temperatures, too.
Flora of the Week -- Switchgrass

Flora of the Week -- Switchgrass

Fauna of the Week--Pipevine Swallowtail

Fauna of the Week--Pipevine Swallowtail