Friday, July 08, 2016

The blue hour

It's my favorite hour of the day, if the weather is fine -- that hour between 8:00 and 9:00 on a summer night. I always try to be out on my porch for what I call the "blue hour." My porch faces toward the east, so I may be missing a glorious sunset; on the other hand, the waning of the day is a lovely time, too.

As the shadows lengthen, a subtle blue cast falls on the trees and neighboring buildings -- in the photo, the light-hued home
across the street appears blue. The sky takes on that lucid blue that reminds me of the skies in illustrations by Maxfield Parrish, an early twentieth-century Philadelphia artist.

Everything begins to quiet down. Up and down the street, mothers call for their kids, who head home. The chipmunks, who like to parade back and forth along the length of the porch during the daytime, vanish silently into whatever places chipmunks go for the night. The birds, too, begin to settle, with the exception of one bird who sings raucously practically until dark. I suppose he wants the last word.

The dark can come suddenly, after this long twilight. And I'm reminded that bedtime is approaching, and that I still have a few chores before sleep. But the "blue hour" is good for my soul, so I try not to miss it.