Here Comes The Night

When not at home I spend many hours erect, most of them devoted to walking around here and there or, occasionally, impersonating a cigar store Indian in front of Wawa and 7-Eleven food markets. At the home front, though, it’s a different story. There, when not sleeping, I sit. Mostly I rest my bony ass on the living room sofa, my assigned chair at the dining room table, or the chair I’m occupying at this moment while pecking away at a computer keyboard. And sometimes I move outdoors to a chair on the large wooden structure that is seven feet above ground and bolted to the rear of my house. The existence of said structure was a prime reason 12 years ago that my wife Sandy and I decided to buy our house. Shepherded around from home to home by our real estate agent, I took one look at the deck and kind of fell in love with it. I’d never before considered owning a deck, but instantly that became an idea I wasn’t going to discard. A month or two later the house with deck became ours.

Now, I’ve given lots of time to the deck since moving in, but in the last year I’ve fallen down on the job. Somehow I pretty well forgot that the deck was there. How is that possible? Sandy didn’t forget, but that’s because she isn’t an idiot, unlike me. She lolls on the deck many mornings. It’s such a lovely creation. And its aims are pure: to provide pleasant views for our eyes and what passes for fresh air for our lungs.

Thankfully, times have changed. So, brothers and sisters, gather around. I’m here to announce that those days of neglect have ended, as I’ve headed out to the deck, usually at night, a lot in the past couple of weeks. I’m hooked once again on deck usage. Hallelujah! My sinful ways shall be no more!

I slipped outside to the deck at about 8:40 PM on Monday last week. The Sun had dipped below the horizon 10 minutes earlier. Plenty of light, though, remained in the skies. I took my seat beside the glass and metal table that takes up much of the deck’s floor space and placed upon it my tools for the night: a portable radio, a box of Cheez-It crackers and a glass of iced tea. The afternoon had been killer hot, with temps reaching well into the 90s Fahrenheit. But the night, what with the Sun gone and a calm but steady breeze doing its thing, was comfortable.

I decided to pay attention to what was happening around me, something I often avoid doing for fear of discovering more than my nearly-filled-to-capacity brain can handle. I looked up. Wow! The clouds were beautiful, set against a sky that quickly was turning from baby blue to deeper shades. And the trees filling and surrounding my backyard appeared more solid and wise than normal. The scene was quiet for the most part because, for reasons unknown, humans were not to be heard, nor were barking dogs. Maybe the canines and their masters were all indoors watching must-see TV shows such as The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills and Chrisley Knows Best. Whatever the reasons, I wasn’t complaining.

There were noises though. I astonished myself by noticing four different patterns of birdsong. Needless to say, however, there was no way I knew which species were involved. I have a hard enough time trying to visually identify a bird, let alone its tune. Hell, I’d barely recognize a cardinal if one were to fly up beside me and give me a loving peck on the cheek. “Ouch, you bright red motherf**ker, that hurts!”

Odd thing is that at about 9:00 PM, when darkness was filling the air, the birds stopped chirping away. Do they go to sleep when light has faded? That’s something I never thought about before. And, once again, it’s something I do not have any answers to. I hope that somebody out there will clue me in.

The small white dot is Jupiter

A few minutes after nine o’clock I spotted a bright light finding its way into open space from behind a neighbor’s enormous tree. It sat in the sky all alone and seemed to be slightly larger than a star. Therefore, I brilliantly concluded, it was a planet! And, as I learned the following day by speaking with astronomer Derrick Pitts at Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute, the orb was Jupiter, which is very visible at night this time of year in my region of the globe. I went inside to get my binoculars. Back on the deck I pulled them from their pouch and took a look at the gleaming spot. That view didn’t much improve anything. I did, nonetheless, admire the bold whiteness a bit more than I had with my naked eye. I’m going to ask Santa Claus to bring me a telescope later this year. I could use one.

The dimmer dot is Arcturus. The brighter one is Jupiter.

And the nighttime show continued. The Moon hadn’t yet risen, but another bright object, dimmer than Jupiter, was higher in the sky and east of that bad boy planet. It was the star Arcturus, Mr. Pitts told me the following day. Arcturus is one of the brightest stars in the Northern Hemisphere’s night sky. Natch, I’d never heard of it before.

Well, I had had a fine time staring into space and letting my mind wander the celestial pathways. Dozens of Cheez-Its had gone down my gullet very admirably, the iced tea had refreshed, as it’s supposed to do, and the songs on the radio had provided excellent company. And so I picked up my belongings one hour after entering the deck and returned to the bosom of my home. I was in better form emotionally and mentally than before my outdoors adventure began.

This article now is nearing its end. I’ve said just about everything I wanted to say. Which, admittedly, isn’t all that much. Nobody is going to confuse me with Henry David Thoreau, clearly. Such is life. What’s more, I hear the call of the wild. I can’t resist. It is quite dark outside at this moment. I will stop typing. To the deck I’m going to go.

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36 thoughts on “Here Comes The Night

  1. hairytoegardener June 21, 2017 / 12:43 am

    Oh, ya, I love my deck. Yours sounds equally as inviting. Last year, I was out on my deck in the evenings listening to the free live music from Hambone’s Cajun restaurant and watching the sunset. Loved it. Sadly, I think Hambone’s has fallen on hard times. This year, I’ve been hitting the deck in the mornings between 6 & 7 am with my coffee and loving the coolness and the birds flitting and flirting with squirrels fighting.–That is until the choir of compressors kick in. Lots of construction in our ‘hood recently. I think most birds go to sleep when the sun goes down with the exception of owls and those crazy mockingbirds. There is just nothing comparable to a good deck in my book.

    Liked by 3 people

    • yeahanotherblogger June 21, 2017 / 7:49 am

      Hi. You know, there must not be any owls around where I live. I never have heard them at night.

      Thanks a lot for adding your thoughts and observations. Enjoy your deck!

      Like

  2. The Artist's Child June 21, 2017 / 5:33 am

    Lovely musings about a deck. It’s great to hear that you are enjoying a summers evening outdoors star gazing. I wish we had a deck but it’s the middle of winter and difficult to drag oneself outside.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger June 21, 2017 / 7:54 am

      Hi. Thanks for visiting.
      There’s a lot of man-made light in my suburban area, so the night sky isn’t as vivid as it might be. Still, it’s pretty great!

      See you —

      Liked by 1 person

  3. joyce hamilton June 21, 2017 / 7:41 am

    Happy you are enjoying your deck while weather is nice!

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger June 21, 2017 / 7:57 am

      Morning, Joyce. Yeah, sitting outside can be a very fine thing to do. I usually use the deck through November. Maybe I’ll start adding the winter months, too.
      Bye —

      Like

  4. Cindy June 21, 2017 / 11:43 am

    You are so right! I just came inside from enjoying my daily coffee-sipping, newspaper-reading, and plant-watering out on our deck. It’s one of the major pleasures of my retirement–I might even say a decadent one (but I won’t).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. greenpete58 June 21, 2017 / 11:49 am

    We had decks at our last two houses, but now have a patio, which is almost as good (better, if you don’t like staining). They help bring you a little closer to nature, which is always a good thing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger June 21, 2017 / 1:18 pm

      It’s very good to have places where we can relax.
      Bye for now, Pete. Enjoy the weekend.

      Like

    • yeahanotherblogger June 21, 2017 / 6:55 pm

      Hello, Julie. Glad you liked the story.
      Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate it.

      Like

  6. Alyson June 21, 2017 / 7:03 pm

    It’s these simple pleasures isn’t it that make you wake up and smell the Cheese-Its! Seriously though we have just come in from spending the evening of the summer solstice on our patio (no deck I’m afraid) with our neighbours – This is Scotland though, so even in summer it’s not really warm enough for sitting out often, but when we do it is quite magical. It won’t really get dark for long at all tonight so won’t be seeing any stars as will be asleep when they eventually appear.

    I do like the sound (and look) of your deck though – Make the most of it which is exactly what you seem to be doing. Lovely post as ever.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger June 21, 2017 / 7:16 pm

      Something I hope to see in person one of these days is the Northern Lights. Do they appear sometimes where you live?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Alyson June 22, 2017 / 10:35 am

        I would love to say they make a regular appearance in our skies but not that frequent actually and I have never myself seen those really spectacular green lights, just a less spectacular “tinge” of green. My nephew however is a keen photographer and he took a really great set of pictures a few years ago from where he lives in the North of Scotland. You’ve given me an idea for a post now so hope to be adding some of those pics soon.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. C. C. Cedras June 21, 2017 / 7:08 pm

    You inspire me to spend more time on the patio while the weather is fine. I have great views and, in the middle of nowhere, have such quiet to enjoy — why am I sitting indoors except when I’m busting my backside in the garden????

    Liked by 1 person

  8. sniderjerry June 21, 2017 / 9:50 pm

    Burns and Allen:
    How is your brother, Gracie?
    He got hurt. He’s in the Navy you know and when they said “All hands on Deck” someone stepped on his.

    Have fun – stay safe. Jerry

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger June 21, 2017 / 10:07 pm

      Always good to hear from you, Jerry. And thanks for the laugh.
      I’ll be seeing you —-

      Like

  9. cincinnatibabyhead June 21, 2017 / 11:56 pm

    “Clyde plays electric bass, plays it with finesse and grace
    Sit on the porch (deck, patio) without no shoes..” That’s you! Cheeze- Its. Man you know how to live.

    Liked by 2 people

    • yeahanotherblogger June 22, 2017 / 9:08 am

      Cindy, that’s a great description.

      Thanks for stopping by. I’ll be seeing you.

      Like

  10. Aunt Beulah June 22, 2017 / 10:27 am

    Your on-deck hour is of the sort I cherish, being in and of the natural world for a bit. I try to do it often, but my viewpoint is from the patio in our backyard during they dayor the hot tub at night, which provides a marvelous view of the night sky, which, in my rural area is unimpeded by city lights. I related to this post and was struck by this well crafted sentence: “And the trees filling and surrounding my backyard appeared more solid and wise than normal.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger June 22, 2017 / 11:00 am

      Morning, Janet. Your views of the night sky must be great. Where I am, there’s a fair amount of light from shopping malls and the like.
      Bye for now.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. andrewcferguson June 24, 2017 / 5:45 am

    Self-deprecation will be the death of you, Neil – great post! We don’t have a deck, but we do have a little wooden arbour at the top of the garden which catches the evening sun, and kind of does the same thing for us. Keep on musing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger June 24, 2017 / 7:30 am

      Andrew, your comments made me realize that I haven’t seen a sunset in many months. I’m going to put that on my agenda.
      Have a great weekend. I’ll be seeing you.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. pjlazos June 27, 2017 / 11:00 pm

    The birds do stop singing when the lights go out and start again as the sun just touches the horizon. And I love my deck, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeahanotherblogger June 28, 2017 / 7:08 am

      Thanks for the info, PJ.
      It’s cool out this morning and I’m listening to chirping birds through opened windows and doors.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. aprilswopegreene July 1, 2017 / 11:28 am

    Neil, I never articulated it before, but impersonating a cigar store Indian in front of Wawa and 7-Eleven food markets is one of MY beloved pastimes, too! Incredible 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Apple Hill Cottage July 3, 2017 / 8:29 pm

    We’re more rural than most, so we eat outside on the back porch every night. I highly recommend it. Though Cheez-Its and iced tea is a good start. Loved your photo of Jupiter and Arcturus.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger July 3, 2017 / 9:09 pm

      Hi. You know, I’m surprised that My iPhone’s camera was able to produce that image decently. It’s not known for its nighttime photography abilities.

      Thanks a lot for stopping by. And I like your idea of having dinner outside.

      Liked by 1 person

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