Search This Blog

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Shooting Stars

Living in the Woods

I love August in the northern woods. This time of year, one can literally smell the change of seasons in the night air.  Already gone are the too-hot nights of July when I throw my windows open and beg for a breeze off the lake to cool my bare skin as I sleep, fan humming overhead. 

White Pine
The air tonight is heavy and damp with the scent of white pine. It’s as if I can’t breathe in deeply enough.  I want to soak in that scent. The tiny wisp of cool breeze carries on it the sweet/spiciness from the huge pot of Thai basil next to me.  

I pulled a wicker chair to the railing and have propped my feet up, reclining my head to the sky.   Though I am deep in the woods, a little clearing allows an awesome (meant in the truest sense of the word) view of the universe above me. 

Three miles distance from the dim lights of the nearest small town allows the Milky Way to appear; a great white swath of stars laid across the center of the sky. Utterly stunning.  I have a few times been further north and in more open areas where it is visible, literally, from horizon to horizon. The big dipper appears huge tonight and lies squarely in front of me, tipped slightly forward as if pouring its contents into the lake below. 

Minnesota's State Bird, the Common Loon
Each year at this time, the Perseid meteor shower brings about a week of nights when you can reliably see shooting star after shooting star. Tonight, if I look up for just a few minutes, another star races across the horizon. Loons, calling across the lake to seemingly reassure each other of their presence, are giving the night an even more ethereal feel.  Each night, I sit and drink it in.
The chill in the air would be the perfect excuse to build a fire and sit up with friends and a good bottle of wine but that will wait for another night. Tonight I will lay an extra blanket on the bed, open the window and fall asleep to the call of loons. 
Fire & Water

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry to see you leave the northern lakes of my childhood and early adulthood. I grew up on Nisswa Lake, went to school in Brainerd. Summers were spent skiing, waitressing at Grandview Lodge and Madden's on Gull Lake and winters we snowmobiled all weekend or went ice fishing. We have a lot of good things in common: Meyer Lemons, Tiramisu, Salads, Salad Girl Organic Dressings etc. Good luck in your new area and please post more often. Tx.