In the shadow of the wicker chair, a paper wasp walks in circles like a broken wind-up toy. I sit in the too-warm sun reading about the sun.
Bright and still. Two dozen gnats form a cloud of Brownian motion, rising and falling above a fixed point—some stone or blade of grass.
Two degrees below freezing and crystal clear. I worry for the tender young leaves of the peonies, paused mid-unfurl—translucent pink commas.
Snow showers: small flakes melting on contact with the ground. Only an old spiderweb on the porch preserves them, these ephemeral flies.
In the cold rain, a winter wren forages in the mud beside the creek, chirping excitedly and bobbing up and down on spring-loaded legs.
Deer follow their long-legged shadows through the trees. Three phoebes chase through the branches and three chipmunks through the leaf duff.
In a lull between showers, a squirrel re-buries a freshly disinterred walnut. Juncos sing as they forage, preparing for their journey north.
The stone wall chipmunk keeps sneaking onto the territory of the road bank chipmunk, then fleeing back across the yard—a striped blur.
The sun fades as the sky turns paler blue. I close my eyes to listen to the creek—after rain, like a room full of whispered conversations.
Overcast and cold. Goldfinches flit through the yard, one of them already in his summer molt: pace Frost, their first gold is green.