In the half-light of dawn, white snakeroot glowing in the meadow, the unending shhhhh of tree crickets, clatter of a squirrel venturing out.
A jay’s call isn’t harsh, a nuthatch’s isn’t querulous: so hard to hear the music of what happens. Every day some poet dies from the strain.
The birch tree trembles with a flock of migrant warblers; I catch flashes of yellow and olive green. A yellow leaf tumbles to the ground.
Nothing but the sound of rain—or rather, the sound of everything being struck by the rain. A robber fly zigzags into the woods.
A hornet nuzzles my arm like a hoverfly but doesn’t sting. In the garden, the buzz of hummingbirds dueling over scraps of bloom.
Leaves turn over in a breeze—a small shock-wave from a far-off storm. A flock of yellow walnut leaves breaks free, fluttering to the ground.
A pair of cardinals chirp back and forth in the lilac. A small buck with antlers in velvet crashes out of the woods, chased by a larger doe.
Caterpillar webs in the treetops shine like white sails against the blue. A turkey vulture floats past.
A shimmer in the air thickens into drizzle, dripping from bedraggled rudbeckia petals, limp tubes of bergamot and the crisp, white soapwort.
Weeding the garden is never dull. Yesterday morning a milk snake writhed around my wrist; today, hornets boil up and sting my hand.
Quarry roar, how I have not missed you! But from the other direction, out of the mist, the yellow-billed cuckoo’s soft call.
It’s humid; everything drips. Goldfinches warble in the treetops. A rabbit’s ear twitches, illuminated by the rising sun.
Back from London, my ears are still adjusting to the country. The unending insect thrum seems to come from some city hidden in the grass.
In the two months I’ve been away, my yard and garden have turned alien, taken over by stiltgrass. The buzz of a hummingbird in the bergamot.