Red-eyed vireo, common yellowthroat, indigo bunting: the primary colors of this morning’s diminished chorus. The dog twitches in her sleep.

Autumn has come to the dame’s-rocket in the yard, leaves turning orange and burgundy as the seedpods yellow like needle-thin fingernails.

Sunny and humid. A cabbage white butterfly with a strangely non-erratic flight path lands on a porch column: it’s missing half a wing.

Overcast but no rain yet, and a rumor of wind so faint only the tulip polar leaves pick it up. A syrphid fly hovers an inch from my glasses.

The sun emerging from mid-morning haze makes the rain-damp leaves shine. A scarlet tanager sings just out of sight at the wood’s edge.

In the downpour, a chipping sparrow forages for its breakfast beneath the lilac leaves, gleaning insects that sought shelter from the rain.

Overcast and cool. The dog suddenly rises from her lethargy to dive off the porch and chase a groundhog back under the house.

An inchworm summits the toe of my boot propped on the railing and reaches all about. I’m tempted to stand up and give it the tree it wants.

The sun makes a brief appearance; a breeze picks up. The bluebottle fly moves to the lee side of the railing and rubs its forefeet together.

The sudden buzz of a hummingbird rocketing back and forth in a mad parabola of attraction, the female watching from a dead lilac limb.

Clear skies at last. In the middle of the yard, the gurgling of an underground spring beside the dead wild rose bush where a phoebe perches.

Garlic heads in the yard are beginning to uncurl—curved arrows pointing in all directions. But the rain still follows its straight road.

Fragments of vireo and goldfinch song mingle with the rain’s thunderous applause. A few filmy-winged insects still somehow manage to fly.

Gray sky in which the sun slowly surfaces like a carp in a murky pond. Rain-slick leaves glisten. A great spangled fritillary zigzags past.

Weak sunlight: a milkiness in the sky like the film that forms over the eyes of the dead. A lone fawn runs bleating through the forest.

Bright sun and the clearest air in weeks. The familiar woods 50 feet away is a dark wall with here and there a loophole of intense green.