Summer

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On this first day of summer I woke to a Screech Owl singing at the edge of dawn. I lay there listening in the dark until the bouncing rhythm lulled me back to sleep. Later, in the slight chill of the cooler-than-usual morning, I sat in the yard sipping a cup of strong coffee. A chorus of young chickadees kept me company. Their song was unrehearsed, cheerful and bright. They were joined by the whirring wings of two hummingbirds, hovering at the honeysuckle before zipping off. And a young finch, a fledgling, perched quietly on the garden box. He tilted his head and watched me watch him, before flitting off to the nearby trees. Along my walk I spotted a Flicker balancing on an overhead wire. He flashed his crimson underwing and the silhouette of his strong piercing beak. In the afternoon, a pair of quail quietly foraged an un-manicured lawn. Towards evening, while braiding a wildflower crown, three dragonflies dipped into the Catmint behind me. I turned and watched their glistening wings as they took turns landing on pads of Yarrow. As the Solstice Sun made her slow descent, a single Yellow Swallowtail danced through the yard. I lingered awhile, listening to the deep hum of bees still diligently gathering baskets of pollen. As the hum dimmed into the stillness of dusk, I breathed in the day, savoring its sweetness. And a song rose up from my joyful heart, offering praise for all the visitors on this first summer day.