Dawn fog lifts and pauses, so it’s clear to a height of ten feet, then white, then the crescent moon. A red-bellied woodpecker’s slow chant.
Something stirs in the silky dogwood across the road. I stroll over: blue berries, a warbler dressed for travel in its yellow-green suit.
A hummingbird defending her patch of soapwort buzzes an ovenbird, who walks back and forth on the cherry branches in his big pink feet.
Thin fog. Now that the phoebes have left, their shy cousins the pewees have come out of the woods, and herald each sunrise in a slow drawl.
Overcast and cool. Two birds of indeterminate species trade high-pitched chirps in the treetops, continuing for hours. A few crickets.
A mosquito creeps across my shirt, an inchworm measures my jeans, and a hummingbird circles my head: this morning, I’m doomed to disappoint.
A yellow mayfly struggles to cross the desert of my porch floor. I glance over at the streambank: yellow coneflowers, the first goldenrod.
Just before dawn, the creak of a tree in the woods, and then in the yard. A bindweed in the garden aims its white blunderbuss at the moon.
First morning of a predicted heat wave: leaves turn backwards in a warm wind. A cardinal sings “purty purty purty” in a Southern accent.
Gone is the persistent “tweet?” of the breeding season: at first light, the towhee’s call falls like a declarative, flat and final.
An autumnal morning. Two months late, the last dame’s-rocket bends out over the driveway, purple plus signs weighted down with dew.
Everywhere a house wren burbles you can build a window; everywhere a tree cricket trills you can build a memorial to last night’s moon.
Goldenrod in front of the porch now overtops the floor, like the crest of a green wave rolling in from the yard. I prop my feet on the rail.