Sunsets this week have been especially spectacular, making late in the day a must time to venture outdoors or just stand at the window and gaze deeply to the west, as dark shades of pink, orange, red and gold flood the low edge of the horizon beneath wide blue sky streaked and dabbed with white clouds. And just when you think it has ended, there is an encore, as light and colors grow more intense, illuminating the landscape below like a richly-painted oil on canvas that has sprung to life.

The world pauses for a moment; an owl begins to trill. And then dusk descends, the crickets of August strike up their band and the softness of a summer evening plays in surround sound.