I stick all the trash I've collected from the house into the bag and take it out to where the curb would be if we had curbs here. On the way back, I notice the pink azaleas by the side fence are in full bloom. Some of the crickets are still chirping, but temporarily fall silent as my steps crunch in the gravel walk. The back gate creaks as I close it. The morning air is cool and fresh, and carries the faint scent of jasmine. In the east, the high cirrus clouds are turning white with morning light.
The potted plants on the back porch have not been watered lately. The watering can has long since gone missing, so I've taken to using the cat's large outdoor water bowl for the plants. After several trips, the porch is spotted with dark drops of spilled water. The bee still writhes. A crane fly sits in the sink, so I'm careful not to let the water flowing from the tap splash it. I'd like to keep the toll down to one dying insect.
Nearby, I hear the sounds of three woodpeckers hammering. One has chosen a particularly resonant piece of wood, high pitched like a timbale. Large numbers of other birds are beginning to chirp, and I hear crows cawing in the orchard. Sunlight breaks above the mountains, but the tall trees of the woodlands still shade my yard. The tops of the pines glow with dawn.
Morning is an interesting time, but I can't stick around to watch the day unfold. I squandered half the night watching old movies- (Fred Astaire! Ginger Rogers! Rita Hayworth!) and still have a few tasks to get done before I can sleep. But it's nice to know the day gives every appearance of proceeding nicely, for everyone but that wood bee, of course. It looks as though 06/06/06 will be just another day.