While I stand still as a gnomon trying to shoot the wind, five, six, seven chimney swifts wheel over the treetops up on the ridge, seining the air for wind-borne invertebrates: gypsy moth caterpillars on one-strand parachutes, perhaps. Baby spiders no bigger than an 8-point asterisk. Anything with wings.
A turkey vulture loses altitude above the corner of the field, rocking from side to side on upcurved pinions. Will it have to flap? No. It enters a thermal at last and spirals upward.
A common fritillary weaves drunkenly past my right shoulder, seemingly unconcerned by the sudden strong gusts throwing it off course. (Does it have a course?) I think a new verb is called for: it serendips.
From time to time, maple seeds come helicoptering in and disappear into the tall grass. The evidence of past years’ red maple profligacy dot the field, seedlings just big enough for the deer to find.
A sharp-shinned hawk sails out of the woods next to the powerline only to hover forty feet above the roiling sea of grass, wings fluttering rapidly, and then fly back. A cloud slightly larger than the others brings a spit of rain.
Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).