Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Forest Fire in Moonlight, 1920; watercolor, gouache, and pencil on paper, 26 1/4 x 18 3/4 inches; Private Collection
Charles Burchfield, Journals, July 30, 1914
Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Wind still continues from N.E. The wind that suggested icy fields & scenes is being tempered now by sweeping of hot dry wheat stubble field, thru swirling hot dust from country highways, thru caressing hot rocky pastures. The air is yet cool and the sky a resounding blue but the sun begins to make his heat felt.
This is typical August weather. I have a tendency to classify nature by months when “seasons” (not meaning the four seasons however) are the true classifications if classifications must be made. I only use the term in the sense of naming a season.
Redbird calls at noon – a long warbling song, a modification of his “wolt-i-year” song. Nature has attained her full growth and is resting. There is a sense of continency about this season.
One of the notable things about this season is the intense brilliancy & blinding quality of the sunlight. It is also peculiarly yellow.
There is a buoyancy in the air.
The cicadas have been silent these days, owing to the cool air.
Sunset calm & clear. A few clouds spun into a semi-circle of flaring whisps, turn shell pink. Someone up the street builds a huge bonfire, which is in reality a smudge, as a dense blue smoke arises from it. It does not ascend the air & dissolve as ordinarily but, after attaining a certain height (our heads would touch it) it spreads out in a long streamer and travels westward.
The effect is magical. There is a dewy chill in the air and the sight of trees + sky dimmed by the haze stuff makes on think of autumn.
Charles E. Burchfield, July 30, 1914