I realize suddenly that my yard is devoid of bull thistles this year. Could the goldfinches really have consumed every one of the seeds?
Another butterfly weed has been stripped. It’s supposed to taste awful, but maybe it’s psychotropic. Anything that orange must be dangerous.
The catbird sounds self-critical, adding a brief aside after every phrase. The chipping sparrow’s never-ending alarm sets a cricket off.
Another reason not to mow the lawn: a male common yellowthroat feeds a querulous fledgling in the tall grass directly in front of the porch.
A shower blows in. Like late at night when the fridge cycles off, it takes me a second to place the sudden silence: the cicadas stopped.
A squirrel is making a nest in a black locust with small branches it bites off a little higher up, plundering the roof to build the floor.
54°F. A cranefly clings to my elbow, landing gear spread wide as its clear wings flutter in the breeze, flags for the kingdom of water.
Four titmice flit about the yard. The dead elm twigs that are closest to the lilac have acquired a greenish tinge. A beetle’s zigzag flight.
A fawn follows its mother through the springhouse meadow, spots like stars on a pelt dark with moisture from the sopping-wet vegetation.
A squirrel is exploring the dead elm at the edge of the yard, racing to the shakey end of each decrepit branch and peering into the abyss.
Overcast and cold. A firefly floats past the porch with his abdomen pointing down, lamp at the ready for any unscheduled onset of darkness.
Clear, 44°F. The doe who I think lost her fawn makes small, anxious grunts as she plows through the wet meadow in front of the springhouse.
51°F. In the side garden, my clump of New York asters has been flattened in the night, stripped stalks splayed to all points of the compass.
A catbird solos in the half-light while wood thrushes trade lines. Small white moths visit the dame’s-rocket. Today, a funeral and a picnic.