Mid Summer Evening

Were it not for the mosquitoes, it would have been a pleasant evening in the backyard. The temperature hovered near 78 F and oppressive humidity was still far to our south. The clear song of a Carolina wren rang through the neighborhood while a family of house wrens scoured our wood border. Bees and a lone hummingbird moved among the mimosa blossoms and a downy woodpecker chiseled the end of a dead sycamore limb.

Overhead, squadrons of chimney swifts strafed the treetops while nighthawks drifted higher in the evening sky, sharp peents announcing their presence. Annual cicadas, gearing up for the dog days of summer, delivered their pulsating calls from the shade trees and, as daylight faded, fireflies flashed from the shrubbery, their season of love beginning to wane.

Heat and humidity are poised to re-enter Missouri today and our North Country days will soon be a memory. This is, after all, the American Heartland and the promise of autumn is but a distant reward.