Cool and still. The piece of thistledown stuck to a porch post by an invisible thread—small flag of an ephemeral country—barely trembles.
A carpenter ant carries its mote of wood halfway along the edge of the porch before dropping it over the side. Such fastidious destroyers!
This morning it hits me: how silent the woods have become now with most of the migrants done singing their fierce but temporary attachments.
Rain. An earwig perches on a tansy flower with its head thrust into one of the yellow buttons, motionless as a toker, empty calipers aloft.
Another cool morning. Autumn’s in the air, I say to myself, but it’s really just a cricket chirping in the corner of the garden.
A perfect morning, clear and cool. A gray squirrel is biting off small branches and carrying them into the thickest part of the tall locust.
Overcast and cool, with the smell of rain. Instead of the crows that woke me at dawn, now ravens are exchanging croaks, one high, one low.
Overcast and quiet. A silver-spotted skipper drinks from the bergamot, threading the thin purple tubes with its proboscis and leaning in.
Overcast at sunrise, with a cool breeze. A gray catbird in the middle of the gray driveway picks pebbles for the collection in its gizzard.
A question mark butterfly lands on the porch and begins tasting the wood. Its wings open, a brown leaf turning back time to fiery autumn.
Thanks to the drought, the bracken patch in my yard is browning from the outside in. A wild sunflower beside the path bows toward the east.
A rare-for-summer inversion layer: throaty jake-break and tire whine, you sound like winter, that discordant note running under our lives.
Too humid for clothes, too buggy for bare skin. An enormous yellow bee-fly circles the tansies once, then zooms over to investigate my ear.
Already too warm by 7:30; the first cicada by 8:00. Before the 19th century, I wonder, how did people interpret its industrial whine?