July 28th and 29th
Sundial of the Seasons
"Dusk comes somewhat earlier now, the Summer Solstice already a month behind us and the daylight slowly diminishing. Time's are unchanged, but the landmarks shift even as the familiar star patterns shift in the night skies. Summer passes.
You see the change in the way the shadows fall. You see it in the trees, the subtle difference in the color of their leaves, in the ripening seed heads of the wild grasses, in young acorns on the oaks. Pasture roses fade. Black-eyed Susan and bouncing Bet flourish at the roadside. Queen Anne's lace is frothy white where daisies frosted the fence row a few weeks ago. Milkweed blossoms fade.
You hear the change in the bird calls, with fewer songs of ecstasy and more parental scolding. The wood thrush, the dove and the whippoorwill dominate the dusk. You hear it most decisively, when you pause to listen, in the insect sounds, for time has special dimensions for chitin-clad life that is granted only one Summer's duration. Bees are busier, wasps are more truculent, harvest flies more sibilant in the heat of the afternoon. Beetles click in haste, ants scurry, dragonflies dart on rattling wings.
And in the dusk, when the sphinx moths haunt the flower garden, crickets stridulate, mosquitoes hum, late lunas and other light-mad moths bang the window screens. August and katydids are just over the horizon, and Autumn is not far behind them. The shadow of time moves slowly but surely across the sundial of the seasons."