A light clatter like a touch typist passes under my chair: the resident chipmunk. A green darner zips in, skimming low over the porch floor.
From what nearby October has it come, this already-red red maple leaf plastered face-down on the red porch floor and beaded with rain?
The plaintive bleat of a left-behind fawn. A pearl crescent butterfly explores my palm with its proboscis, reading between the lines.
Next to the old dog statue, the sun catches one of the last dame’s-rocket blossoms—a faded purple footnote to a once extensive text.
Crystal-clear and windy. A turkey vulture skims the treetops, its shadow stretching like a telescope into the light-filled clearings.
Cool and clearing. Three deer chase through the meadow, coats sleek with dew, bounding high to glimpse each other through the tall weeds.
A bee-fly’s abdomen pulses, as if it were about to sting. I’m reminded of a black snake rattling its tail aggressively against dry leaves.
Cool and clear. I keep glancing up from my book—Red Pine’s Taoteching translation—to watch the gnats drifting back and forth on the breeze.
The penitential sound of a yellow-billed cuckoo. I glimpse a dragonfly out of the corner of an eye—an electric blue needle.
A red admiral butterfly that keeps changing sizes turns out to be two butterflies, wary of each other, wary about perching on my legs.
Six cabbage white butterflies dance in the heat. A halictid bee stumbles through the forest of hairs on the back of my arm.
While a question mark butterfly mines the pores of my index finger for salt, a mosquito lands on my ring finger and sinks her own probe.
Two chickadees take turns excavating a hole in the last remaining limb of the dead cherry, their small bills tearing at the rotten wood.
The leaf-footed bug walks slowly and jerkily as a Mars rover on my shoe, antennae shining, then flies straight as a comet across the yard.