About that time of night where the sun’s almost gone but the birds are still singing is when I go outside to sit on our back porch. I take a faux zebra-fur throw to ward off chill, a radio alarm clock with a Rachmaninoff cd inside to cover the sound of the neighborhood, and my dinner–inevitably ramen, at least until the kitchen is finished.

I know the majority of you have not been to our house, but here’s secret for you: in our backyard is a quintessential babbling brook which, despite its small nature, babbles loud enough to be heard even over Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in E Minor.  During rainstorms of the magnitude and spontaneity of those that have been hitting our area of late, it becomes more of a set of raging rapids and waterfalls. Fortunately our backyard has a fairly established slope to it, so the brook-turned-river stays in its proper place.

This spring heralded a few surprises in our yard; we knew we had squirrels and at least one owl. Now I know we also have rabbits, and daffodils planted ’round the mailbox, and a pear tree in our neighbor’s yard.

At dusk the houses across the way look like house-shaped candle holders–the sort with the windows cut out so that the yellow light shines through like jack-o-lantern eyes.