Linden and spruce trees, a group of Africans on their way to the cinema, and Salvadorans grooming the fields.
The marsh is full of redwings.
Everyone waits in line. (Not enough what?)
Someone is stealing from the cars in the lot.
Queen Anne's Lace and Sweet Peas.
Get over here! one in a group of boys yells. Not you lady, he says to me.
I think the mockingbird I hear has a cell phone ring tone in its repertoire.
At dusk, a small brown rabbit shoots out from the bushes, crosses my path.
At first I wondered—could they be thistle-- or tiny bird nests tightly woven? But now I see what they are: the furled tops of Queen Anne's Lace.
The yellow warblers have bitten off the flowers, carried not song, but a search in their bird mouths, opening the cup, looking for beetles in there.
To find what I might have once noticed glistening in the morning dew. A spider's web stretches across open blooms, is strong, keeps memory.
Every petal gone on stalk after stalk along the fence, only the buttons remaining on the yellow bachelors left in the breeze, tall and naked. Perhaps they are that sweet. I hadn't ever thought their petals so delicate that wind could take them, spread them around while the center still held. So is it the work of birds?
I am running. I will pass the empty cup again, after the birds leave it alone. I take one field, then another. The wildflowers are everywhere. Surely the hillside must have been seeded.
A fisher spotted and moose, too, these last couple of weeks.
On the bulletin board she points to a photograph: an ermine in its white winter coat, in the kitchen where we stand talking, discovered on the counter beside the washing machine, right next to the sugar and tea tins. It looked with red eyes straight into the camera lens.
But what interests me and the woman with the key to the rented house on the salt marsh, is the way a fisher attacks a porcupine. She is telling us she saw the creature slinking by. It was morning, barely after dawn. Could it be?
And later she knew for sure, because a neighbor on the road that leads to West Quoddy Head had found the porcupine carcass. Details gave the predator away: A fisher, you know — or maybe you don't — will pull quills off the back, turn the porcupine over, stab it, then eat right through to the spine.
At night we shut off the lights, go to bed. Coyotes come to the back door and they sing, just as if they are harmless and will leave all cats alone.
The owners of the house have written a note: You will hear all sorts of animal cries in the night.