Sunday, August 21, 2011

August 21: Fire Hydrant

Dense fog has settled over the midcoast, as often happens this time of year: 100% humidity. Even the crows' cawing in the yard sounds a bit muffled. A short run left me soaking wet (not to be too gross or anything), the moist, warm air clinging to my skin, mingling with my sweat. Mount Battie was completely hidden by the mist.

This time of year, I particularly enjoy how the goldenrod in the fields glows so brightly on these muted mornings. One family along my running route mows only the lawn directly in front of their house; the rest of the yard, between the strip of lawn and the road, they let grow wild. Chipping sparrows, doves, and goldfinches seemed to enjoy this, as well, as that's where they were all hanging out today. Right now, that roadside field is rife with blooming goldenrod, made all the more stunning by the fact that the backdrop, their house, is bright red with lime green trim.

But what struck my eye the most on my little outing was, oddly, coming upon a newly painted, vividly red fire hydrant tucked away in the roadside weeds. The town has been repainting all its fire hydrants this summer in an attempt to make them more visible, and that certainly worked with this one. I must have passed it a hundred times on my runs and never noticed it amid all the surrounding greenery. In its way it was on the same fog-busting color scale as the goldenrod. And in its way, on this quiet, muggy, foggy morning, just as beautiful.

It's not a cardinal,
but this hydrant's shade of red
also makes me smile.

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