As the heat builds, the cicadas’ electric drills fall silent one by one. Coneflowers wilt until they look like yellow jellyfish.

A desiccated earthworm has somehow appeared on the garden walk despite the drought. It twitches, pulled back and forth by gangs of ants.

Another cool morning. From over the ridge, an inversion layer relays the whine of tires on asphalt and the keening work-songs of trucks.

High in the trees, a small cloud of gnats yoyoing up and down, backlit by the sun, while an itch grows on my hand where a mosquito drills.

In the bright sun, three potter wasps are raiding the bergamot blossoms, piercing the base of each purple tube to drain the nectar.

Two chipmunks eating unripe drupes high in a black cherry tree suspend their usual hostilities. One jumps over the other when they meet.

Cool and extraordinarily clear. With the sun on its gable end, the old springhouse glows like a lost tooth among the dark, swaying cattails.