Thursday, June 28, 2007

Twelve Moons of the Year. August 01.

Significant Sentences from The Twelve Moons of the Year by Hal Borland, a chronology of the New England seasons. August 01.

"August comes with hot days, warm nights, a brassy sun, and something in the air, perhaps the season itself, that begins to rust the high-hung leaves of the elms." p. 210.

"The night still twinkles with fireflies but the day's heat lingers and the air has a dusty August scent, the smell of languid summer." p. 210.

"The Indians of New England were famous for their corn and grew at least four varieties, one for roasting for succotash, one for meal, and one to...pop." p. 211.

"August...a kind of sweet serenity now possesses the land." p. 212.

"Cattails lift green bayoneted ranks from the mucky margins." p. 212.

"Dragonflies in the hot afternoon, swallows in the cool of evening, seine the air for mosquitoes." p. 212.

"The heat of midday throbs with the cicada's shrill drone, one of the drowsiest of all summer sounds." p. 212.

"August makes its own season." p. 214.

"The lights of the fireflies begin to dim, the buzz of the annual cicadas passes its shrill crescendo, the crickets stridulate, and after the crickets we hear the first katydids. You can time the season by the insect sequence." p. 217.

"Crickets now are fiddling in the long, hot afternoons; katydids will soon be scratching at the night." p. 217.

"Tradition says the first frost will come six weeks after the first katydid is heard." p. 217.

"As for most insects, summer is a lifetime to a katydid--birth and growth and maturity, which ends in old age and death." p. 217.

"Insect time ticks madly now, setting the tempo for buzz and scratch and hum that mark not a season but a lifetime." p. 217.

"The worts, the persistent herbs of the old back-country apothecary, constitute a kind of folk poetry of human ills and aches, of pain and hope and trust, and inevitably of occasional cure." p. 218.

"There is a mellowness about a moonlit night in August."

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