When I adjust my chair, a stab of pain at the base of my middle finger: a yellow jacket, equally alarmed by the encounter, abdomen pulsing.
Breezy and cool. A female hummingbird zooms back and forth between the bergamot patch and the hillside treetops already aglow in the sun.
A brief glimpse of sun through the mist and rain-soaked leaves. Then back to the humdrum of pewee and pileated woodpecker.
This year for the first time deer have not eaten all the bracken in my yard. One frond is already yellowing like the skeleton of some unlikely fish.
Cool beginning to a hot day. I can’t stop watching the hummingbird sphinx moths, their retractable drinking straws as quick as thought.
5:15. The moon through thin clouds. A whip-poor-will’s distant chant. 9:15. The sun through thin clouds. A hummingbird’s mid-air defecation.
The sun feels as if it has no business being out on such a quiet morning. A towhee sings a truncated version of his song: just “Your tea!”
Mid-morning, and a wood thrush lands in the walnut tree next to the driveway to sing a few bars. A net-winged beetle flies past.
A large native bee lands on a porch column to groom her antennae. A black ant races back and forth brandishing a dead ant like a flag.
Goldfinches go on chittering the entire time I sit outside, poring over a trail map. One hummingbird sphinx moth works the bergamot.
A few drops of rain. A gnatcatcher fluttering up from the weeds to a walnut tree swerves to—I assume—catch a gnat.
5:02. Wood pewee. The first bird call of dawn, or insomnia’s last hurrah? Two minutes later, the chorus starts up.
Cool morning. A red-spotted purple butterfly drops by the bergamot patch just to sunbathe, sitting motionless like a black flower.
The sun comes out and with it a hummingbird, unfazed by the presence of visitors, including a three-year-old boy gleefully destroying an old log.