Rain. A squirrel crouches atop a maple burl, gray fur almost invisible against the gray bark, curled tail like a snake poised to strike.

Beads of rain that were shining moonlets 10 hours ago are now mere glitter. Night has shrunk to the dark iridescence in a butterfly’s wing.

Hard rain for less than a minute followed by an hour of dripping, accompanied by a cricket chorus. Pale soapwort flowers glow in the sun.

The rain begins just after mid-morning, slowly building in intensity. I watch as the dull green pelage of the world turns glossy again.

Bright sun after last night’s long-awaited rain. A chipmunk races down the road with cheek pouches bulging. A wood pewee’s melancholy call.

Through thinning clouds, the mid-morning sun’s dull glow. Below in the woods, leaves and branches beaded with moisture begin to glisten.

A shimmer of moisture in the air. A catbird lands on the cherry stump, cocks his head at me, and sings four notes through a half-open bill.