A paper wasp slowly inspects the porch railings, long legs dangling. Just inside the woods’ edge, one pale bone of a log gleams in the sun.

Bright and breezy. A small black wasp lands on the porch floor, its antennae held together except at the tips, like a forked tongue.

Wasps wallow through mounds of snakeroot flowers. At the woods’ edge, a yellow leaf trapped by a caterpillar thread never stops twirling.

A wasp flying in low sunlight: hind legs dangling bright orange, and behind her thin waist the black, banded abdomen shaped like a bomb.

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

A sleek black-and-yellow potter wasp is visiting the bergamot, biting a hole in the base of each drooping floret to suck the nectar.

Dawn: the soft wickering of a wood thrush. Three hours later: chipmunks’ incessant hammers. A tiny blue wasp explores the sunlit railing.