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.
A small woodpecker has found a resonant snag and works it for all it’s worth. A rival responds, but his rattle is too thin and he quits.
Two bucks wander past in patchy, shedding coats, spike antlers curved like the horns of anorexic bulls. One pauses to snack on lilac leaves.
A wood pewee calls from the edge of the meadow. The air has turned autumnal. The sun comes out and doubles the number of yellow leaves.
A mantis clings upside-down to a porch column. I wave a mosquito in its direction, and it turns its head to watch the ungainly craft fly by.
The den hole in the dead elm seems less than empty, like an eye socket in a skull. A single-prop plane goes over, hidden by the clouds.
In the half-light of dawn, white snakeroot glowing in the meadow, the unending shhhhh of tree crickets, clatter of a squirrel venturing out.
A jay’s call isn’t harsh, a nuthatch’s isn’t querulous: so hard to hear the music of what happens. Every day some poet dies from the strain.