Goldfinch, nuthatch, catbird, wren. The herb-garden chipmunk, cheeks bulging, pauses on top of the wall to groom its paws.
Another cold, clear morning. A chipmunk finds a patch of sun from which to tick, like a self-winding alarm clock set for fall.
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.
A Juvenal’s duskywing butterfly comes dancing out of the woods like a small brown leaf. Zigzag ripple in the grass where a chipmunk forages.
A sound I haven’t heard since last fall: a chipmunk’s territorial ticking. I see it zip across the rock-hard snow, tail pointing at 12 noon.
Nuthatch calls to nuthatch, wren to wren, but the generator roars to nobody. I keep seeing what could be a chipmunk out of the corner of my eye.
A chipmunk hangs by its hind feet from the thorny branch of a barberry bush, picking berries and stuffing them into its bulging cheeks.
As sunlight reaches the forest floor, the chipmunks emerge and begin to chip, their metronomes mingling—a dry waterfall of sound.
A light clatter like a touch typist passes under my chair: the resident chipmunk. A green darner zips in, skimming low over the porch floor.
The caution of wild things. Male and female cardinal taking turns bathing in the stream. The chipmunk rising furtively to its hind legs.
Chipmunks chase in the driveway. A hummingbird hovers beside the porch, sipping rainwater from a spiderweb in the tall weeds.
Watched by a chipmunk at the end of the stone wall, I hold a mouthful of coffee in my cheeks, do my best to look as if I know how to live.
Rain has erased the last patches of snow. The lilac bush gives birth to a cardinal, a wren, four white-crowned sparrows and a chipmunk.
Dawn: the soft wickering of a wood thrush. Three hours later: chipmunks’ incessant hammers. A tiny blue wasp explores the sunlit railing.
Air so clear the sunlit leaves are as green as June again. Two chipmunks in adjacent territories begin clucking, falling in and out of sync.
While the catbird warbles jazz, a chipmunk skitters to a halt on the rock wall, sits back on its haunches and scratches its crotch.