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.
Swarms of spinning maple keys fly this way and that. An indigo bunting bobs up and down in the lilac, swiping his bill against the branch.
Rain in the wee hours has left the lilac with leaves bent over, showing their pale backs. Above, the white missiles of black cherry blooms.
Warm and humid. A hornet inspecting the porch on foot pauses in front of my sandals, waving her antennae like Geiger counter wands.
The chickadees take turns carrying insects into their hole, bold, ignoring my presence a few feet away. From the hidden chicks, nary a peep.
A Juvenal’s duskywing butterfly comes dancing out of the woods like a small brown leaf. Zigzag ripple in the grass where a chipmunk forages.
Each bird I see has something in its beak: wren—a streamer of dried grass, chickadee—a seed, towhee—a bundle of stalks, grackle—a millipede.
The new black cherry leaves, unmarred by any insect, are showing their pale backs to the sky, like hatchling fish unsure of how to swim.
Non-stop noise from the indigo buntings. One of them drops into the deer-ravaged rosebush and flutters madly, subduing some luckless insect.
Sunny and hot. A small ichneumon wasp on the shady side of a column actually stops vibrating for a few seconds and is completely still.
Clouds darken. The wind carries the sound of lawnmowers. When the rain starts, it feels like an unresolved chord finally returning home.
From the herb bed, I hear the squeaks of a hummingbird sipping from the columbine. Then he’s in my face, gorget like a small red torch.
A chickadee lands on the cherry snag and chitters till his mate emerges from the hole. He gives her a bit of food and they fly off together.
The red porch floor is pocked with yellowish green pollen. In the garden, a red crabapple petal is plastered to a witch hazel leaf.
I feel it before I see it: in the half-light, the intense green of new leaves. The sound of field sparrows, towhees, spring peepers, rain.
The rattle of a chipping sparrow. The cypress spurge smells so sweet, I resolve not to pull it from my herb bed until it’s done blooming.