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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Night Noises in Northern Woods

Quiet has descended. 

Well, as quiet as the northern woods can be in late August.  Crickets chirping, frogs bellowing, a myriad of I-don't-know-what-kind of insects singing.

But the cicadas were silent (as kids we called them "katy-dids").  They've been reverberating all summer.  Weather prediction by "patti" when the katy-dids drone:  It's going to be hot tomorrow.  I don't miss the buzzing of their tymbals high in the trees.  Temps tonight are already below 60.  It is NOT going to be hot tomrrow.

Good thing.  There is no air-conditioning here in the cabin.

I'm reading Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird snuggled under the comforter next to Andy, who is already alseep.

Just as Scout Finch, swallowed by her Halloween ham costume, waddles toward home in the dark with her brother Jem (and about to be assaulted by Bob Ewell), Gyspy BARKS.  And throats a low growl.

I almost drop the book.

Gypsy, I whisper.  She growls again.

The outside chorus abruptly stops.  I hear FLD Mike shift in his crate.  I hold my breath, but I can't hear anything else.


Gypsy paces, now clicky-clacking her nails on the wood floor, now silent as she steps onto a rug.  She rumbles.  The cricket and bug brigade take up the refrain.

Eventually Gypsy settles.  Andy never stirs.  I guess it's nothing, but the book can wait until tomorrow.  As I turn off the bedside light, I remember my brother's email from last week.  The Chain Lake homeowner's association issued a bear warning--seems a black bear has been making off with some bird feeders.  I'm glad there are no feeders here.

In the morning, there is no evidence of a bear visit.  (And I won't spoil the end of Harper Lee's book if by some incredible chance you haven't read it or seen the movie...)

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