Observation 2: July 4

Waiting for the sun to set so Portland’s heat can lessen by a few degrees, and my mind can lock onto activities beyond sleeping and complaining again. Me and a watering can go for a romantic stroll around the drought-dead yard, moving from bonsai to birch tree to hedge to six-week tomatoes to Evening Primrose. While citizens are discouraged from indulging in bombs bursting in air, with the Oaks Bottom Wetlands bone dry and Mt. Hood seeing only a single snowflake in June, that doesn’t mean that many folks won’t commit to setting their lawns ablaze anyway.

The slow roll of drums in the distance = fireworks being lit off the Ross Island Bridge by the pros, gun powder trailing into the waiting river below. There’s nothing glowing or sparkling in the sky, just a few stray bottle rockets. That’s when the first craft came up over a neighbor’s roof, four green eyes winking at me, two red lights at the tips creating an orb illusion. My alien abduction dreams often start this way, but as it goes over head wings are easier to identify as drones. Four of them, doing laps and maybe helping the officials monitor for fire. They do laps around the distant dots of Venus and Jupiter. They do laps around the Evening Primrose, which has finally decided to awaken and announce its independence. This is the night’s show stopper moment, far away from the flashing lights.


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