August 2009

The low-frequency hum of a passing jet vibrates the windows and the ladder’s metal rungs. A wren chatters alarm at the missing floorboards.

A squirrel emerges from the springhouse’s tiny attic vent and slides head-first toward the ground. A patch of sun shimmers in the goldenrod.

I glimpse the mother doe and her fawns running just inside the woods’ edge, hear the clatter of hooves going past. A minute of almost-sun.

Another overcast morning, with wind and the sound of trucks out of the east. Two thrushes and a gnatcatcher move silently through the lilac.

The low cloud ceiling is a tabula rasa for the arabesques of chimney swifts. A high-pitched rasping in the trees–some insomniac katydid.

In the light breeze, one clump of cattails waves out of sync; the sound of chewing. A few perfunctory phrases from a red-eyed vireo.

Out around 9:00, in time to hear the dog-day cicadas start up. If it weren’t for cicadas, how would we know what the sun sounds like?