The light between showers. A groundhog plows through the stiltgrass in the yard. Later, two chipmunks touch noses at the end of the porch.
A question mark butterfly on the railing next to my boots. A cuckoo’s soft call sounds like an answer to the incessant caws of a crow.
Unsettled weather; the leaves on the trees turn this way and that. Two turkey vultures circle high above the ridge, rocking in the wind.
I look up from my book and realize it’s raining again, a downward shimmer. I try forgetting the names of unseen birds—this buzz, that cry.
A squirrel stymied in crossing the porch by my unexpected presence approaches warily, watching me the way a farmer watches the weather.
A great spangled fritillary lands in the grass, folds its orange wings shut and turns into a dead leaf, barely moving for the next hour.
Yarrow, fleabane, silky dogwood… white is in style. But the cabbage white butterflies still prefer the purple remnants of dame’s-rocket.
A chipmunk scurries through the garden with a wad of dried leaves between her teeth and disappears beneath a flowerless clump of peonies.
Overcast and cool. It takes me a while to notice that a cherry tree has fallen into the meadow 50 feet away, half-buried in the tall weeds.
I can’t decide which I prefer: the thrush’s melancholy bells or a woodpecker’s rattle, the dark forest edge or the meadow full of mist.
Silver-spotted skippers work the last dame’s-rocket, and a day-time cricket begins to chirp. I slap myself in the chest to kill a mosquito.
Have the flickers fledged? Their den hole gapes, silent. Is absence of evidence evidence of absence? A pileated woodpecker’s wild laughter.
Despite the constant agitation of the tulip tree’s thin-stemmed leaves, its eponymous sex organs barely move—golden cups open to the clouds.
It rained in the wee hours; everything drips. Does the catbird, too, suffer from insomnia? He does an uncanny imitation of a whip-poor-will.
The sun’s so bright, I don’t see the large black bear in the shadows at the woods’ edge until the dog points him out with a quivering nose.
A flash of blue as one indigo bunting chases another out of the yard. From within the rock wall, a chipmunk’s hollow tock.