Three small flies gather on the top railing, wandering back and forth on the straight white road like lost commuters. Today will be hot.
A gray squirrel nibbles on tansy leaves—how odd!—then comes onto the porch and stares at me from two feet away with dark unreadable eyes.
As the plane fades in the distance, they return: a towhee, two lethargic vireos, a chipmunk’s water-drip-steady clucks, the garden cricket.
Cloudless at sunrise except for my puffs of breath. A junco with bright new plumage flies out of the woods and veers past my face, chirping.
The sound of deer running through the woods, and from over the ridge, that highway whine: we race through the deserts of our own making.
A lone cedar waxwing sits on the topmost branch of the dead elm, wheezing his high thin call as the sky’s deepest blue fades to daylight.
Overcast and quiet except for a red-eyed vireo and a male goldfinch, whose head is already beginning to turn green, like rusting bronze.
In the rainy half-dark, a small white oval shifting and wobbling on the end of a branch: the breast of a hummingbird.
Windy and cool. One branch of the lilac shivers as a Carolina wren conducts a thorough investigation, ticking loudly after each new find.
A blue-gray gnatcatcher drops into the dead cherry and begins to forage, singing its small hoarse note. Beads of rain wobble but don’t fall.
A banded tussock moth caterpillar is curled up on my shoe—a ball of pale, fuzzy rays. Cue the sun through glasses that badly need cleaning.
The tall goldenrod’s budding tops continue to expand, extending new arms. I find a penny in my pocket and fling it at the hornets’ nest.
Cool and clear. The hair I cut last night by moonlight, leaning over the rail with the electric clippers, still shines silver in the weeds.
Overcast and cool, with the beeping of quarry trucks. A pair of cardinals land above the dry creek bed, exchange a few chirps, and fly off.