A little bit earlier, I decided to go get the mail out of the box and move the car into some shade. Oddly, our mail is usually delivered anywhere between noon and 4 pm, but in this heat they get it here around 10:30. It is important that it is checked right away because I never know what people might be sending The Essential Herbal for review, and I sure don't want it sitting in a black box at high noon.
About a year ago I remember writing that I could almost tell the time of day by listening to the sounds outside. As it turns out, if the temperature goes into three digits, all bets are off. It is darn near eerie out there!
As I slid the door open and walked into the furnace, the first thing I noticed was that there was no happy buzzing coming from the anise hyssop and bee balm patch beside the porch. Silence. The chipmunk that almost always hangs around the front door and has no fear of me was no where to be seen.
There is no birdsong. All the small animals must be sleeping somewhere in the shade or underground. Nothing is moving.
There is no traffic. Granted, traffic to me might mean a car going by every 15 or 20 minutes, but nobody is going anywhere. The farmers are not working the fields. The crops are too stressed and fragile right now.
The silence was broken by a single rooster crowing from my sister's house and a peacock calling from over a mile away. From the house on the corner that is full of kids, I heard a little girl laughing. I walk under the deck to turn on the hose and water the persimmon tree. The grass beneath my feet crunches like cellophane.
There is normally a lot of air traffic over the house, but recreational vehicles of the sky seem to be grounded - perhaps because nobody wants to go anywhere.
I didn't know excessive heat had a sound, but it does. It is silence.