★★★ The gaps between the clouds were soft and blurry overhead, but off to the east and west they were dramatic slashes of light. The openings became the main stuff of the heavens, a light blue now holding oval cumulus fused together in rows. Dry leaves, whole and curling, scraped and hopped along. A half-moon tilted on the bright afternoon sky. A few hours later, in the last light-haunted purple before full night, it was shining strongly enough to reveal the slight concavity of its edge.