‪The tulip tree’s leaves have burst their buds—a pale green cloud. A gnatcatcher in the shadbush darts and hovers like a slow hummingbird.‬

A gnatcatcher crosses the yard. Its flight as erratic as a butterfly’s is punctuated by the briefest of pauses to ingest its eponymous prey.

A gnatcatcher is feeding above the stream, wings back-lit by the mid-morning sun as it twists and dives and pivots like a kung fu master.

Flies and butterflies, gnats and gnatcatchers, blue-headed vireo, paper wasp. The towhee in the lilac bush starts his song with a stutter.

Two catbirds tangle in the air above the stream. A hummingbird dive-bombs a gnatcatcher. The first great-crested flycatcher holds forth.

Two gnatcatchers at work. The way every flight turns into a series of mid-air divagations, I wonder if they ever know where they’ll end up.

A murky sunrise. Gnatcatchers high in the tulip tree dart and hover, tiny silhouettes against a cross-hatch of stratus clouds.