Sunday, August 3, 2014

Notes from a cross-country drive

From Vermont to Detroit and back, October 2011

The meteor flew from left to right, halfway above the horizon, leaving behind an incandescent green trail that measured the width of my windshield. There was a sense of nearness, as if it weren't more than a couple of thousand feet high. The meteor moved more slowly than any I'd ever seen. In the end, the long green line forked into two dull-orange tracks: the meteor exploding in two. The pieces were extinguished, and the sky went black again.

Sitting on Scott's back deck, looking out over his neighbors' houses toward the flat horizon, I saw in the middle-distance a rank of towering maples, their huge canopies darkening to silhouettes as the evening fell. I'd forgotten about the ancient maple trees that still stand in the Detroit suburbs, like woody pins on a giant map.

The cornfields along my drive were being cut down to stubble. Good time of year to be a bird of prey. I saw plenty of falconiformes swooping down, coming up, or perching on fence-posts. Many held mice, or unidentifiable tasty-bits in their talons.

Passed through Ontario's level farmlands at one or two in the morning. A clear, cold sky had drawn vapor from the ground. Fog bunched itself in the hollows and lay roped across the land in silver skeins. Intermittently, all was white as my car pierced one of the swirling banks.

The beautiful weather in Detroit has followed me, and it's just the time to be tooling around the back-roads. The clouds are whipped cream and the hills are giant heaps of colored popcorn.

Concerning the meteor, I later searched the Web for similar reports and found these.

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