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.

Sky darkening to rain. I realize that the bare soil I’d taken for the spoil heap from some animal’s burrow is in fact a growing ant mound.

Cool and overcast. The soft thump of a bird side-swiping a window. An ant walks with exquisite slowness up the side of the house.

A carpenter ant carries its mote of wood halfway along the edge of the porch before dropping it over the side. Such fastidious destroyers!