Spiderwebs in the meadow and the big rosettes of mullein leaves next to the road glisten with their haul of beads from last night’s rain.
A deer leaps and twists in the tall grass to elude a fly, his damp pelt pale as a salmon, hoarse breathing just audible above the rain.
The sound of a hummingbird at full throttle: a male rocketing back and forth in front of the cedar tree for a hidden female audience of one.
Distant thunder. A black ichneumon wasp walks circles on the porch floor, its wings flickering jerkily like images in a silent film.
An enormous horsefly patrols the porch railing, gray and golden hairs shining in the sun. The faint croaks of a raven somewhere to the west.
Picking bergamot leaves, I’m startled by one leaf that leaps to escape: a katydid. It watches me wild-eyed from an adjacent plant.
Ten percent of the tulip tree’s leaves have turned yellow in response to the drought. Goldfinches pass through like a yellow wind.
We’ll remember this as the summer a cerulean warbler sang incessantly in the yard, which every day—presto!—produced more rabbits.
Under a flat white sky, the catbird’s brassy harangue. Will it rain today? Some meadow plants are going limp while others are turning stiff.
Another gorgeous morning spoiled by the smell of cow shit. I think of the pastoral idyll, land-grant universities turned bloated and foul.