A cicada starts his electric saw and stops. It’s too cold for cicadas. The sky’s a deep blue. A walnut leaf curled like a boat floats down.
Light from the rising sun diffracts off a spider web in the eaves, turning it all the colors of the rainbow as it trembles in the wind.
Blue sky above the fog. The sun stretches long white spider legs into the woods. The cackle of a pileated woodpecker, followed by wingbeats.
Overcast and cool. Behind the occasional calls of wood pewee and solitary vireo, a continuous, grinding whine from the quarry. It’s Monday.
A large spider rappels sideways across the yard on an invisible thread, while a bee struggles to maintain its balance on the porch rail.
I feel watched, somehow. I spot a round gap high in the foliage, dark and deep. Then there’s the den hole in the elm, an empty eye-socket…
A trembling in the cattails: female yellowthroat. Birds flit through the treetops, smaller than the motes of grit in my ancient binoculars.
Sun shining through fog and the growing tents of fall webworms. A sharp-shinned hawk sits atop the dead elm, his head swiveling all around.
Overcast and humid. A Carolina wren trills in short bursts, as if in imitation of the crickets creaking in the long grass.
A furious buzzing from around the house where hummingbirds duel over the last few beebalm flowers. A half-grown fawn emerges from the woods.
A walnut leaflet falling into the yard rotates on its axis like a yellow spoke in search of a wheel. The brown dog lies panting in the sun.
Five nuthatches land in the walnut tree and begin scuttling up and down its trunk in the pouring rain, poking and probing the furrowed bark.
A scattering of white in my overgrown garden: soapwort, bindweed, fleabane, snakeroot. The sky brightens. A towhee calls from the lilac.
I marvel at how tall my tulip trees have grown, nonchalantly waving their leaves. “It was I who planted you! I who saved you from the deer!”
A phoebe flies back and forth between the sunlit treetops, criss-crossing the moon. I can hear the clicks of its bill as it catches insects.
While I’ve been gone, two invading armies have battled for control of the yard. The stiltgrass seems to be winning against the periwinkle.