Despite the heat, the oriole’s enthusiasm is undiminished. The walking onions, like ostriches of fable, are stretching to bury their heads.

A large leaf-footed bug stalks up and down a porch column, its shadow at its side. Two carpenter bees clash like airborne sumo wrestlers.

The delicate sneezes of a deer grazing on the thorny canes of multiflora rose bushes. She stretches a hind leg up to rub her nose.

Warm and hazy. The yard buzzes with native bees pollinating the alien, invasive myrtle. Off in the woods, the glint of old glass.

The crackle of a grackle. The boosterism of a rooster. The incessant cheer of a vireo. My ears take refuge in the creek, that labile Babel.

Sun! A gray squirrel noshes on black walnut catkins, then drops deliberately to a thin locust branch five feet below and clings, see-sawing.

Two great-crested flycatchers foraging in the rain target insects sheltering under leaves. The only dry thing is a cerulean warbler’s song.

Few bird calls are audible above the hush of rain falling on new leaves. White lilac and bridal wreath flower heads droop, turning brown.

The warmest morning in weeks. The bracken in my yard that the deer mowed down has raised defiant fists. A red-eyed vireo drones on and on.

On a crystal-clear morning, the whinnying cry of a red-bellied woodpecker seems full of angst, and a jay’s rasping call—pure frustration.

A rabbit in the rain eats grass the way I eat ramen, one long strip disappearing into its mouth, drops flying. A hummingbird buzzes my face.

A phoebe catches insects right in front of the porch with a sound like the snapping of fingers as each exoskeleton is crushed in its bill.

In the tall locusts still bare of leaves, the flaming orange of a Baltimore oriole—no, two orioles in a mad chase. The victor’s brassy song.

The leaves on the sapling tulip tree are already big enough to blow backwards. A tanager’s plucked-string call. It begins to sleet.

International Migratory Bird Day. From a tall locust, the lazy call of an eastern wood pewee—last migrant back. A mosquito pierces my cheek.

The worm-eating warbler has taken his rattle deep into the forest. The chipping sparrow’s is louder than ever, echoing off the woods’ edge.