It's mid-August and summer is at a peak here in the Kickapoo Valley of west central Wisconsin. The sounds of nature’s wonders are obvious in many forms and the insects sing their beautiful songs. As the setting sun turns to dusk a whip-poor-will sings his name from the hollow and a cuckoo’s lonely call drifts from the sugar bush. They seem to say, slow down, the day is over, time to relax and take it easy. It's time to sit on the porch and listen to the soft rhythmic singing of the crickets, fleecy wings, cicadas and katydids.
The humming wings of bumblebees, hawk moths and hummingbirds takes my attention to the climbing runner beans on the side of the house. I am drawn to this peaceful time of the day like a warm bed on a cold night. It's a time to just wind down and let nature’s sounds sooth me after a busy day.
A month ago sunset meant the songs of male robins, cardinals and bullfrogs but now their time has passed. The frogs mating songs are over and the cardinal also has much less to sing about by mid- August. And by now many of the robins have dispersed.
My old house cat begs at the screen door to let her out on the porch for awhile. At 17 years old, she’s never been allowed to roam free and spends all her time in the house. I let her out and she’s satisfied to curl up in a chair and take in the summer evening. Her ears perk up at every sound and her eyes turn to every curious movement. She watches a little brown bat as he quickly darts around the back porch catching flying insects. Her head turns to the purple phlox to watch closely as a hawk moth moves from blossom to blossom.
From the porch ceiling a fat spider lowers himself by an invisible thread. His hunger tells him its time to look for dinner. The cat watches the spider intently but doesn’t move. She, like me, is just happy to relax at the end of the day and let nature entertain her.
It's time to savor nature’s summer wonders while they last. There will surely be a frost within a month and all will change drastically down nature’s trail.
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