May 2010

Peonies are to death what roses are to love. After this afternoon’s predicted storms I’m sure they’ll all be bowed, poor thornless things.

A rose-breasted grosbeak flutters up from the creek singing clear, cool notes. A cranefly drifts through a sunbeam, carrying its legs.

A pileated woodpecker explores a fallen tree in the meadow, the scarlet arrow of his crest appearing and disappearing in the dame’s-rocket.

The first four peonies burst their buds in the night and open to a sky of hazy pink. From under the house, a cat’s hollow cough.

Mid-morning. Already I am too warm in my big mammal body, but the oriole’s cheer is relentless. Such a small adjustment from heat to hate!

Up before dawn, I watch the morning star climbing through the treetops. The birds awake: fragments of song like an orchestra tuning up.

Wood thrushes dart back and forth; three squirrel species briefly converge. My yard is less comprehensible to me than a street in Bangkok.