A pool of light among the shadows of the yard: morning sun reflected from an upstairs window. Mare’s tails drift overhead. A phoebe calls.

Sunshine for the first time in days. Filmy-winged insects drift in and out of the shadows where a blue-headed vireo sings its dreamy song.

Another gloomy day brightened by a mixed flock of birds foraging at the woods’ edge, visitors tagging after locals to find the best spots.

Cold rain blowing sideways. The walnut trees behind the house have shed their leaves, unveiling a still-heavy ordnance of green orbs.

Cold, overcast and dreary. A warbler on migration-layover darts through the porch, inches from my face—a flash of black and yellow.

In the green and yellow woods, here and there a red branch. But the kinglets in the birches hide their ruby crowns under olive-green shocks.

As leaves begin to flutter in the rain, I notice the small birds fluttering underneath them, like a flash mob that was there all along.

Two crickets are having a singing contest among the stiltgrass, which is now quite red and swept back in one direction as if with a comb.

Breezy and cool. The spider with the banded legs at the end of the porch clutches the husk of a stinkbug, rotating it, looking for morsels.

Another cloudless morning. Chipmunks chase each other through a bar of sunlight on the forest floor. The distant, metallic calls of a raven.

Overcast and cool. Tiny, pale-winged insects drift back and forth, and—perhaps not coincidentally—the yard trees seethe with small birds.

The wind is out of the east, and, slight as it is, carries an acrid, chemical smell from the sewage plant and the quarry’s dull roar.