A lone stalk of whorled loosestrife stands amidst the flattened stiltgrass, its blossoms overturned by last night’s storm. The stream roars.
The dark green wall of the woods begins to vibrate—a shimmer of mizzle. The dog’s muzzle rotates, nose twitching. A cedar waxwing’s whistle.
Overcast but no rain yet, and a rumor of wind so faint only the tulip polar leaves pick it up. A syrphid fly hovers an inch from my glasses.
The sun emerging from mid-morning haze makes the rain-damp leaves shine. A scarlet tanager sings just out of sight at the wood’s edge.
In the downpour, a chipping sparrow forages for its breakfast beneath the lilac leaves, gleaning insects that sought shelter from the rain.
Garlic heads in the yard are beginning to uncurl—curved arrows pointing in all directions. But the rain still follows its straight road.
Fragments of vireo and goldfinch song mingle with the rain’s thunderous applause. A few filmy-winged insects still somehow manage to fly.
Gray sky in which the sun slowly surfaces like a carp in a murky pond. Rain-slick leaves glisten. A great spangled fritillary zigzags past.
The light between showers. A groundhog plows through the stiltgrass in the yard. Later, two chipmunks touch noses at the end of the porch.
I look up from my book and realize it’s raining again, a downward shimmer. I try forgetting the names of unseen birds—this buzz, that cry.
It rained in the wee hours; everything drips. Does the catbird, too, suffer from insomnia? He does an uncanny imitation of a whip-poor-will.
A light mist rises from the rain-soaked grass. Just as I’m writing this, a hummingbird buzzes in to inspect the red lettering on my T-shirt.
The rain starts just as I come out onto the porch. White blossoms atop a black locust tree fade into the crowd of leaves mirroring the sky.
Momentary things: A chipmunk pressing the rain from its fur. The swaying of a branch from which a grackle has just taken flight.
Heard but not seen: a hummingbird skirmish. The mist thickens to drizzle, and right on cue a yellow-billed cuckoo—so-called rain crow—calls.
A hollow oak dead for 30 years has finally collapsed, its fragments piled next to the stump like abandoned clothes. The first few raindrops.