The clouds thicken, gravid with rain. A squirrel climbing the walnut tree next to the road pauses on the first limb to lick its genitals.
The thin fog turns blue before disappearing. At the woods’ edge, ants rise on filmy wings like a curl of smoke.
Goldfinch, nuthatch, catbird, wren. The herb-garden chipmunk, cheeks bulging, pauses on top of the wall to groom its paws.
Loud wingbeats as the shadow of a raven crosses the yard. A buck gingerly lowers his antlered head to the stream.
Were there really just two of them? Now every yellow birch leaf trembling in the breeze looks like another migrant warbler.
Under a bowed head of goldenrod, a black and yellow garden spider hangs head-down, her web glittering with drops from last night’s rain.
Cold at sunrise. A pileated woodpecker hitches up the trunk of tall locust, pausing to yell when he reaches the sunlit crown.
What insect-eater flutters above the canopy of an oak? Too far away to tell. I love the way birds can dance without moving their feet.
The only singer is the wren in the lilac, cycling through his entire repertoire at breakneck speed. A gray caterpillar inches up my leg.
In the weak sunlight, only leaves at just the right angle glisten, dully, like the eyes of dead fish. A cicada calls twice and falls silent.
Warm and humid. The smell of liquid fertilizer drifts up from the valley to the east, and from the west, the sound of trains.
A squirrel on the lowest branch of the walnut tree next to the road scolds something hidden in the goldenrod, shaking with each harsh cry.
Thin clouds; the sun is a bright smear. A hummingbird hovers over the spent flowers in my garden, nudging a yellow leaf with her bill.
The Japanese stiltgrass is beginning to redden from the stems out. My niece goes up and down the road in the car, learning to drive.
Another cold, clear morning. A chipmunk finds a patch of sun from which to tick, like a self-winding alarm clock set for fall.
Cold and clear—the clearest air in months. The strong sunlight reveals that it is full of motes and insects, more silk than soup.