From just inside the woods, a bird call I don’t recognize—an anxious couple of notes. The purple asters slowly unclench to an overcast sky.
The first small holes through to the ridge-top sky have appeared in the green wall opposite my porch. The sound of falling acorns.
We don’t hear much from the highway these days. What I hear: Canada geese off to the north, a train whistle, two kinds of crickets.
As the sun climbs through the trees, small patches of sunlight appear and disappear in the springhouse meadow, setting the goldenrod aglow.
A squirrel creeps up to the flicker hole in the dead elm, but another squirrel pops out chittering and gives chase through the treetops.
As sunlight reaches the forest floor, the chipmunks emerge and begin to chip, their metronomes mingling—a dry waterfall of sound.
A downy woodpecker lands in the dead cherry tree. She trills and the rotten limbs tremble, taps and they make hardly a sound.
Scattered drips of dew from the top roof. A doe and fawn ghost by along the woods’ edge, the fawn’s spots as faded as snakeroot flowers.
The hairs on my arm tower over the scarlet mite wandering among them. The air shimmers with what the Chinese call maomaoyu—fine hair rain.
Fog from the valley spills over the ridgetop and advances on the porch. The jays start calling, unable to see each other in adjacent trees.
When I come out, a committee of flies is convening on my chair, despite the chill. Ten minutes pass without a single bird call, then phoebe.
The distant gargle of compression release engine brakes. Dark clouds moving very slowly, as if deliberating where to drop their rain.
Another dark, humid morning. A deer comes crashing through the laurel, turns and doubles back, as if trying to shake her entourage of flies.
A squirrel leaping between treetops miscalculates and falls 40 feet to the ground. It lies stunned for a minute, walnut still in its teeth.
An underwing moth rests under the roof; I get out the guide. Could it be Charming, Girlfriend, The Bride, Oldwife, Sad or Sordid Underwing?
Something in the lilac attracts half-hearted alarms from a chickadee, two titmice and a wren. The lilac leaves hang limp in the humid air.