August Treasure Hunting

My friend Melinda came to visit the Long Island Sound this week, an escapee to our northern climate from the swelter of the Carolinas.  “Is August really your favorite month?” she asked me, and I could detect a tone of skepticism in her voice.

“Yeah,” I said. “I really like August.” this was while we were walking along the shore of the Long Island Sound, and as soon as the words were out of my mouth I spied a treasure on the ground, right there at my feet.

Good timing, August. It was a bright yellow flight feather (see above) : My trophy of the day. (This is me, from the future, in 2012: The feather is from a bird called a Flicker — which I only found out two years later.)

Yes, I really, really like August.

When I found that yellow feather I already had my hands full with my other treasures (see above): an owl’s feather and a bird’s nest — all from simply keeping August on my mind, and eyes on the ground.

Yes, it was the strangest thing, finding that bird’s nest upside down on the grass. I guessed it had fallen out of the plane tree above, which gave me the idea to start hunting underneath any one of the hundreds of ancient hard wood trees on this property. I only had to search one other tree to find my feathers — now I ask you: What else do you need to make you love August?

(Besides not living in Texas or North Carolina, or Georgia, or any of those places you tell me about where August bores into your skull like a thousand hot pokers and wears you down like a thousand wrap-around wool blankets infested with chiggers and bad news, that is.)

Not to brag or anything, but today it’s 74 degrees, cloudy, with signs of rain. This, even on the Long Island Sound, is a gift in August: a day when I just might have to put on a sweater. It’s as good a tea day as it gets (in August): and that’s what I’ll be doing today.

I’ve picked out two kinds of tea (Brodie’s Edinburgh Blend and Tealuxe Copely Place Vanilla) for my long afternoon of lounging and extended mental waywardness. I will be in the exact right frame of mind to consider each and every delicious kind of tea you all  have invented this past week, and doing my best to pick a winner. It won’t be easy, but I can always resort to numerology, spells, a throw of the  I Ching, or reading tea leaves if I have to.


5 Comments, RSS

  1. Deb August 13, 2010 @ 1:20 am

    With the abundance of black feathers on my lawn and patio, I’m assuming the cat finally got even with the crows that were harrassing her and stealing her food. Or maybe she was just fattening them up…

  2. August August 13, 2010 @ 7:58 am

    This is the best August ever. I should’ve adopted the name long ago. I feel loved.

    The boy and I just got back from a walk in the field. We found three kinds of spider webs. Orb, funnel, and that crazy kind I don’t know the name of.

  3. Ann August 13, 2010 @ 10:14 am

    I had just emailed a friend on the superiority of August in Vermont vs. August in North Carolina. The roadside wildflowers survive in Vermont: goldenrod, Queen Anne’s Lace, milkweed, purple loose strife (I know it’s an invasive but it’s a beautiful color), cattails, etc., with asters of several shades to come. In N.C. in this heat, the roadsides look like someone’s gone by with a flame thrower. (I lived in N.C. for fourteen years.)

  4. Deborah August 13, 2010 @ 5:39 pm

    In the Midwest, August is the time of Monarch caterpillars munching away on the milkweed — on their way to becoming the generation of butterflies that will migrate to Mexico & start back North next spring. But I am writing this from Seattle, where is it NOT 102 with bad air quality. I soooo needed a break from that!

  5. Nadine August 13, 2010 @ 9:45 pm

    In New Jersey, where I live for the time being, today was perfect. It was cool (82 F) so I opened all the windows in the house to get some real air for a change. There was a breeze all day and my cats took turns lounging on the wide windowsills of my office where I could admire them while I worked. (I have 4 cats.) This is the best weather day so far this month [August].

    When I lived in Alaska, one year my family went to the State Fair and there were snow flurries for a bit. It was Aug 31. I wore a brown sweatshirt and jeans because in Anchorage in August you need to keep warm.

    I’ve been in South Florida in August and I don’t think it’s so bad. It felt like Manhattan on a regularly humid August day. I got used to it pretty easily.

    That’s all I can geographically contribute about August. Personally, I like August because most of the month is under the jurisdiction of the only zodiacal cat.

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