First light. A low-frequency buzz passes between the back of my head and the house. Wood thrush song in the distance—an incoming tide.
The dawn chorus begins just as it does in January: with cardinal song. High above the atmosphere, a satellite catches the first rays of sun.
I realize suddenly that my yard is devoid of bull thistles this year. Could the goldfinches really have consumed every one of the seeds?
Another butterfly weed has been stripped. It’s supposed to taste awful, but maybe it’s psychotropic. Anything that orange must be dangerous.
The catbird sounds self-critical, adding a brief aside after every phrase. The chipping sparrow’s never-ending alarm sets a cricket off.
Another reason not to mow the lawn: a male common yellowthroat feeds a querulous fledgling in the tall grass directly in front of the porch.
A shower blows in. Like late at night when the fridge cycles off, it takes me a second to place the sudden silence: the cicadas stopped.
A squirrel is making a nest in a black locust with small branches it bites off a little higher up, plundering the roof to build the floor.
54°F. A cranefly clings to my elbow, landing gear spread wide as its clear wings flutter in the breeze, flags for the kingdom of water.
Four titmice flit about the yard. The dead elm twigs that are closest to the lilac have acquired a greenish tinge. A beetle’s zigzag flight.