Shadows of vultures slip through the trees. A bumblebee lands on a porch post and grooms her thorax and mouthparts with her four front legs.
Bright sun, sharp-edged shadows and a breeze with teeth. Still, the catbird warbles jazz, and small insects drift on glistening wings.
While the male chickadee calls from the end of a walnut branch, his mate combs the leaves for caterpillars, hovering, hanging upside-down.
Rainy and cool. A pair of goldfinches spiral up from the meadow, twittering. I find a dead ant in my last mouthful of coffee.
The chickadee flies in with food and flies out with a fecal sac. In the meadow, yellow iris like a tour group in a crowd of dame’s-rocket.
Two wood satyr butterflies careen through the yard, the dark pages of their wings marked with yellow Os. A blue dragonfly circles the house.
The female chickadee perches motionless in the mouth of the den. The male gives her an inchworm and she sits holding it for half a minute.
It’s hot. A firefly lands on the shady side of the white railing, antennae moving rapidly as if assessing a new, poor substitute for night.
The hollow tock of a chipmunk calling from within the rock wall. A chickadee perched atop the stump opens his wings wide to shake off rain.
Three deer graze in the meadow, ears and tails flapping to keep off the flies. From the valley, a steam locomotive’s lonesome wail.
The Baltimore oriole flies from treetop to treetop, laying claim to the yard. A lone chimney swift cuts arabesques in the cobalt blue sky.
Two Carolina wren fledglings in the cedar—small balls of fluff. A cerulean warbler flies in to peer at me, the cause of so much scolding.
Swarms of spinning maple keys fly this way and that. An indigo bunting bobs up and down in the lilac, swiping his bill against the branch.
Rain in the wee hours has left the lilac with leaves bent over, showing their pale backs. Above, the white missiles of black cherry blooms.
Warm and humid. A hornet inspecting the porch on foot pauses in front of my sandals, waving her antennae like Geiger counter wands.
The chickadees take turns carrying insects into their hole, bold, ignoring my presence a few feet away. From the hidden chicks, nary a peep.