May 2013

Two wood satyr butterflies careen through the yard, the dark pages of their wings marked with yellow Os. A blue dragonfly circles the house.

The female chickadee perches motionless in the mouth of the den. The male gives her an inchworm and she sits holding it for half a minute.

It’s hot. A firefly lands on the shady side of the white railing, antennae moving rapidly as if assessing a new, poor substitute for night.

The hollow tock of a chipmunk calling from within the rock wall. A chickadee perched atop the stump opens his wings wide to shake off rain.

Three deer graze in the meadow, ears and tails flapping to keep off the flies. From the valley, a steam locomotive’s lonesome wail.

The Baltimore oriole flies from treetop to treetop, laying claim to the yard. A lone chimney swift cuts arabesques in the cobalt blue sky.

Two Carolina wren fledglings in the cedar—small balls of fluff. A cerulean warbler flies in to peer at me, the cause of so much scolding.