A phoebe pecks at the porch roof, then lands in the cherry tree with its feathers puffed out against the cold. The waning moon.
Commotion from the Cooper’s hawks just inside the woods. One darts out and flies across the field: sleek missile body, thin blades of wings.
The bergamot is beginning to open, a wash of purple spreading from inner bracts to adjacent leaves as if heralding the rise of a purple sun.
A halictid bee pivots in the black-eyed susan, a metallic green mote. At the end of one petal, a deerfly dries those anti-petals, its wings.
That buzz from just inside the woods: chipping sparrow or worm-eating warbler? The four-fingered tulip tree leaves flip back and forth.
The first beebalm’s forked, scarlet tongues. Nearby on a still-green bergamot bud, a netwing beetle’s antennae test the sudden sunlight.
Sunny, hot and windy—an odd combination. The forest murmurs like surf on a hot day at the beach. An orange butterfly zooms past at 60 mph.
No trains are running. The black-and-white warbler’s quiet wheeze competes only with the distant vuvuzelas of rubber on road.
Two crows sail out of the woods with a smaller bird in hot pursuit: the Cooper’s hawk. He lands in the dead elm and ruffles his feathers.
Solstice sun in the treetops. The lilac quivers as two titmice move through, grooming it for insects. A fawn dances out into the meadow.
The sun-struck meadow gives off a thin mist. From the front window, the tap of a female cardinal’s bill against her rival in the glass.
The garlic in my yard has a conspiratorial air, heads coiled, beaks thrust in every direction. Nearby, a lone wild onion’s Medusa hair.
A catbird mimics the wood thrush, call-and-response style, getting the phrasing right but little else. Venus fades into the dawn sky.
A robber fly rides a wind-blown leaf like a sailor on the deck of a heaving ship, sun catching the life-preserver orange of its thorax.