Finding the light.

I have this thing about a certain kind of light. I usually notice it in the afternoon, when the sun is low in the sky, but not yet actually setting. Often it occurs at just about the same time the day’s winds are dying down, so that the world becomes distinctly still, hushed, expectant. The light seeks anything with the slightest cast of gold or copper and burnishes it. It lasts as long as twenty minutes, before it fades into twilight.

Now that I work all night, I occasionally stay up really late (past dawn) then drive to McDonald’s to get breakfast. The other morning, I was returning home – McMuffin in hand – when I realized I was driving through the light. It had never occurred to me that my beautiful, ethereal, magical light would naturally appear twice a day.

Yes, I have just admitted that I have never in my life been conscious enough at 7a to notice one of my favorite things. I have always been truly nocturnal, so my mornings were a miserable blur. Life is better now that I’ve stopped fighting my nature.

I had to pull over to try to capture it. Here’s what I got, using my cell phone. I’ll try again, probably in the afternoon, when I’ve mastered the good camera.

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Noises in the night.

Noises – which I have decided can best be described as skittery – were emanating from the kitchen as I used my husband’s computer in the dining room. At first, I thought it was rain against the window. Then I thought, maybe, one of the cats was playing with a toy near the baseboards. Neither of those theories panned out when I investigated, but I was able to determine it was coming from a lower cabinet. I told myself that I would set out some live traps tomorrow, then tried to settle back into writing. The sounds continued, growing louder and more rodent-y with each passing minute.

Finally, fearing that a raccoon or a giant rat had invaded my home, I devised my plan – which required a TALL kitchen stool and my son’s Karate bo.

All the lower cupboard doors now stand open. The night is quiet again. But I keep spinning in the chair to see if anything is peering out at me. As I sit here with my feet carefully tucked up under me, I’m wondering what this says about my chances of being couragous in the face of future paranormal studies.


The tumbling witchgrass arrives.

A while back, I mentioned a whirlwind of fine tumbleweeds that crossed my path. A few days later, I found the same type of plant material heaped in front of my door. Having noticed it twice, and realizing that a true tumbleweed is much bigger, I had to find out what it really was.

It turns out that this is called tumble grass (or tumblegrass). It is also known as: Panicum capillare, witch grass, old witchgrass, and panic grass.

I should hate it. It fills my garage and creeps from my patio into my foyer, then all through my home. (The pets adore carrying into even the deepest recesses of the house.) It’s impossible to sweep or vacuum effectively.

But it comes when the fall winds make the leaves dance all night – which I love. Besides, how can I hate anything with such an intriguing set of names?