Fire sirens in the valley. On a beebalm stem, right under the scarlet inflorescence, a beard of spittlebug froth catches the sun.
Strange morning: first a 20-MPH gust of wind out of a clear sky whips the treetops, then the dead cherry beside the porch fills with birds.
A noisy exchange of crow news sets off a pair of yellow-billed cuckoos. A juvenile black bear ambles down the road and into the woods.
Fog in the treetops, lit up by the sun. Wingbeats of a large bird. The distant chirping of quarry trucks in reverse, one high, one low.
Two half-grown rabbits grazing side-by-side on sallow, middle-of-the-road grass dash off in opposite directions. A daylily’s orange cone.
Spots of red in the garden: old leaves on the evening primroses, new leaves on the witch hazel, which seems to be having a prolonged spring.
Overcast and cool. A groundhog stops at the bend of the road, rears up like a prairie dog and freezes. Only its dark eyes continue to move.
A ten-minute downpour. In its aftermath, the ruby-throated hummingbird’s eponymous throat patch rising like a small sun from the weeds.
The steady rain of 6 a.m. gives way to sticky heat by 10. I stand gazing like a sad father at the portion of my garden given over to moss.
Ushering an enormous wolf spider outside, I disturb a baby woodchuck. Grass blades weighed down by rain spring up as it barrels through.
Gone for just two days, I come home to find half the lilac crushed by a fallen limb from the dead elm. A phoebe already uses it as a perch.
At 8:47, the sun puts in its first appearance. The cricket in my garden—the only weather forecast I follow—doesn’t miss a beat.
A loud blast from the quarry two miles away: the kind of literal “terrorist attack on American soil” nobody but the neighbors ever mentions.
A cloudless sky and air so clear, I can see gnats dancing 100 feet away. In the deep shade, borrowing shards of sun, the wings of a crow.