Batting away a hornet hovering next to my legs—the softness of its wings. A chipmunk adds its metronome to the chorus of bird calls.

High clouds spread and thicken—slow yeast in a blue bowl. A hornet hovers behind my head, buzzing like an alarm clock I can’t turn off.

The hornets stream in and out of their hole in the garden, departing to the south, returning from the east. A towhee calling in the dogwood.

A hornet nuzzles my arm like a hoverfly but doesn’t sting. In the garden, the buzz of hummingbirds dueling over scraps of bloom.

Weeding the garden is never dull. Yesterday morning a milk snake writhed around my wrist; today, hornets boil up and sting my hand.

Warm and humid. A hornet inspecting the porch on foot pauses in front of my sandals, waving her antennae like Geiger counter wands.