I wish I had names for all the filmy-winged insects that appear like spirits when the light is strong and the shadows behind them are deep.

A wren calls from the cattails like a deranged cheerleader, while in the woods, a vireo sounds as if it’s barely able to give a damn.

Rain. A squirrel crouches atop a maple burl, gray fur almost invisible against the gray bark, curled tail like a snake poised to strike.

Cool and quiet. A ray of sun pierces the forest canopy and falls on a clump of goldenrod in the meadow that’s just beginning to turn gold.

Crystal-clear sky. A piece of thistledown floats past like an airborne jellyfish. A hummingbird visits the last, purple scraps of bergamot.

Sunny and cool. Blowflies, hover flies and paper wasps takes turns landing on my bare arms; the wasps have by far the silkiest touch.

A yellow tulip tree leaf lies face-down on the porch floor. Nearby, an assassin bug crouches like a martial artist when I move my foot.