Peonies are to death what roses are to love. After this afternoon’s predicted storms I’m sure they’ll all be bowed, poor thornless things.
A rose-breasted grosbeak flutters up from the creek singing clear, cool notes. A cranefly drifts through a sunbeam, carrying its legs.
A pileated woodpecker explores a fallen tree in the meadow, the scarlet arrow of his crest appearing and disappearing in the dame’s-rocket.
The first four peonies burst their buds in the night and open to a sky of hazy pink. From under the house, a cat’s hollow cough.
Mid-morning. Already I am too warm in my big mammal body, but the oriole’s cheer is relentless. Such a small adjustment from heat to hate!
Up before dawn, I watch the morning star climbing through the treetops. The birds awake: fragments of song like an orchestra tuning up.
Wood thrushes dart back and forth; three squirrel species briefly converge. My yard is less comprehensible to me than a street in Bangkok.
The female towhee chitters until the male flies in, mates, and flies off. Again. Once more. Then she craps and goes back to foraging.
Light rain. A female towhee carries load after load of dead grass into a rosebush while a yearling male redstart sings and noshes in the treetops.
A dandelion-seed parachute drifting past the porch shudders, hit by a raindrop. The streambank grass ripples where a chipmunk runs.