Last Sunday morning I took the dog out for our walk at about 7:30. As soon as we stepped out the back door, Callie looked over her shoulder toward the sky and went wild barking. I couldn't get her to stop. Why does that always seem to happen on Sunday mornings, when I think the neighbors are trying to sleep late?
What was the cause this time? Often it's the moon. But no, this was worse. It was a hot-air balloon — the first one of 2015. In a minute or two, I was looking directly up into it. It was floating over the house, not very high up and basically from east to west. That meant Callie and I had to walk along under it out into the vineyard.
Walk? Did I say walk? She ran. She barked and howled. She disappeared into the distance. In a minute or two, she was far enough from the houses that I felt sure she wasn't bothering any late sleepers. I could hear other dogs barking all around the area. We watched the balloon disappear behind some trees over the horizon after five or ten minutes. It was moving at a pretty brisk pace.
I was surprised to see a montgolfière on such an unsettled morning. It's true there wasn't much wind at ground level, but big clouds were rolling in from the west. Some were passing to the north of us, but some headed right at us. Predictions were for stormy weather. Usually, balloons go by when the wind is perfectly still and the sky is crystal clear. We'll be seeing a lot more balloons as spring turns into summer.