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  • Around these parts, you need no calendar to know that August presses up against July. You need no calendar at all.

    Last night when sleep deserted you, the biting drone of the grasshopper, the sawing chirp of the cricket kept you company. This morning, out on the gravel garden paths, you heard the slide of snake, grown thick and long and heavy. The robin's third nest was empty, fledgelings on the lawn, spotted breasts, pulling at worms. At noon on your bike, you swerved around butterflies--mating monarchs, swooping swallowtails, countless others--and felt the air's tired weight trouble your skin. Summer sinks into the very earth as though fed up, ready to move on--enough. You can see it in the early evening light--right now--how it catches and plays with golden tones of blade and leaf.

    But most of all, there's the sudden absence of the lines of swallows that had been gathering to balance along the wires down at the end of the driveway. And in the front pond, a single heron, on its slow move south, has arrived, to hunt fat frogs into fall.

    No calendar will tell you such things. No calendar at all.
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