An inversion layer at daybreak: the high whine of tires on asphalt rings in my ear. The sky grows dark again, but it’s only a mizzle.
Rain and fog. A squirrel strips water from its head with a lightning-quick motion of its front paws. The dark dead eyestalks of the tansy.
Widely scattered drops of rain—a rustle twice as loud as it would’ve been a month ago. Blue jays yell back and forth about some new find.
A crow mob: enmity in unison sounding so different from a flock of grackles, where each bird is simply saying “here.” It begins to rain.
Steady rain drumming, dripping, stripping leaves from the understory gums, orange and red careening down in the otherwise still-green woods.
The downpour eases, and the cattail leaves stop dancing. A burst of bird calls from within the dogwood thicket: waxwings, towhees.
Rain at last! A gentle tapping on the roof. The parched aster in my garden half-opens its first purple eye.
Rain like a drunk at a broken piano whose green keys all play the same note. The hornets still hide their hoard in a gray paper sack.
Drum of rain on the roof and the birds sound distant—robin, field sparrow, cowbird—the world greener than it’s been in seven months.
I watch it grow light, then start to grow dark again. A rustle in the leaves that starts as the footfalls of deer turns to rain.