A brown thrasher sings behind the house, repeating each line as usual like a didactic jazz soloist. The sun struggles blearily to come out.

A catbird darts into the weeds. I stand up to look: it’s gobbling down the first ripe raspberries. The buzz of a hummingbird at the beebalm.

On the underside of a porch railing, a hornet gathers a mouthful of wood. A small yellow leaf caught in a spiderweb twirls in the wind.

4:50 a.m.: moonlight and dawn-light are at equilibrium. Then the whip-poor-will starts his insane chant. Other birds wake and chime in.

Overcast. A towhee keeps singing the first two notes of his three-note song. Propped on the railing, my feet appear to anchor a spiderweb.

Sunny and humid. I notice suddenly that my breath is visible just as in winter. I puff great clouds for as long as it lasts—some 10 minutes.

When the neighbors’ rooster finally stops crowing, the incessant singing of the red-eyed vireo seems as hushed as the murmur of a stream.