Now that thistles are going to seed, the goldfinches are nesting at last. Two males chase—streaks of crayon-yellow through the treetops.
A lone stalk of whorled loosestrife stands amidst the flattened stiltgrass, its blossoms overturned by last night’s storm. The stream roars.
Cool and quiet. A female hummingbird ignores the bergamot to drink from the soapwort, their plain, pale faces glowing in the weak sunshine.
Clear and cold as October, with an inversion layer to match: the rising sun grinds and thunders with the sound of the quarry to our east.
The dark green wall of the woods begins to vibrate—a shimmer of mizzle. The dog’s muzzle rotates, nose twitching. A cedar waxwing’s whistle.
Fog gives way to mid-morning haze. The neighbors’ rooster doesn’t so much crow as moan. I listen to cardinal song and imagine it’s February.
Backlit by the sun against the dark woods, a swarm of lekking gnats, their Brownian motion now faster, now slower. An annual cicada’s whine.
The sun disappears before it clears the treetops. A red admiral butterfly and a carpenter bee rest on the porch railing, inches apart.
The air becomes clearer as I drink my coffee, the shadows deeper. A bumblebee methodically circles the purple mop-heads of bergamot.
Overcast and cool, with lower humidity at last. Still, the world gets much too close: mosquito in my ear, deer tick traversing my laptop.
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.