Somewhere a lawn sprinkler spits a catchy rhythm to the accompaniment of a thousand cicadas. Yards are beginning to brown nicely beneath the unrelenting gaze of summer sun. The color of baked turkey. Labor Day is next week. One year without our sheepdog Gracie.
Far off music announces a carnival out in the middle of a hay field. A warm breeze of corn dogs and hamburgers, cotton candy, hot sun-baked hay raked into rows by a gang of boys riding on a huge wagon. Hot work and dry enough to choke a skeleton.
Soon the cicadas' song will end, red-eyed monsters crawling beneath the baked earth to slumber, alarms set for seven years. Snug and safe from the stirring storms to the north. For now just a faint rustle, a foretelling of a long night coming. A murmured promise, a single snowflake touching your spine, to remind you that the season of death is closing.
But not quite yet. Snug Harbor, in its baked orange outland splendor, is still alive with color. The birds still swoop and sing, the crickets and cicadas continue their competition for best thousand member vocal group. Tomatoes and watermelons ripen, children ride their tricycles up and down the hot asphalt driveway with jet black feet, and sunflowers riot in gardens and along fence rows. Summer abides.