A stratum of sunlit leaves forming in the forest understory. A cicada wakes up. Under the house, something coughs.
Sunny and humid. The electric whine of annual cicadas ebbs and flows. A hummingbird flies into the forest’s wall of leaves at top speed.
The cicada chorus ebbs and swells. I notice the big tulip tree has shed all its drought-yellowed leaves from a month ago and is green again.
As the heat builds, the cicadas’ electric drills fall silent one by one. Coneflowers wilt until they look like yellow jellyfish.
A weird cry, like an alarm clock keening for consummation: a lone 17-year cicada, far from the main body of its brood. It stops. It resumes.
In the course of an hour, the only bird calls are from a couple of crows. But there are four kinds of crickets, a cicada, a distant jet.
Hazy and warm. As the sun climbs, the cicada chorus grows, and the field cricket in the garden chirps faster and faster.
Workmen up at the other house: the whine of an annual cicada in the trees alternates with an actual electric saw.
A cicada lies on its back on the porch, legs churning the air. I turn it over and the dog gives it a good, close reading with her nose.
Backlit by the sun against the dark woods, a swarm of lekking gnats, their Brownian motion now faster, now slower. An annual cicada’s whine.