Cherry Springs State Park, I’m told, is named for groves of black cherry trees–

its evening sky,  the clearest and darkest in Pennsylvania.

These days by Little Crum Creek, hours from the skygazers I’ll one night join,

a single black cherry briefly flowers the white light of our nearest star.

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Constantly time and space align in ways we occasionally recognize:
through bare limbs before spring leaves–
a pileated woodpecker feeds from a dying tree snag

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Spring sun —                             light come to life                            in every limb

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rainy and gray
silhouetting day
up hops a yellow-bellied sapsucker

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The fuzzy milkweed leaf — a nice spot to set

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for a four-lined plant bug (Poecilocapsus lineatus)

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done roaming the catmint

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to feed like the young.

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Sown here last year for the monarch and her brood
milkweed has grown to host a new visitor —
like this banded net-winged beetle
(calopteron discrepans, I think) —
on nearly every leaf turned

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an ancient sphinx long ago posed the riddle
whose answer all who heard were already living.

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More recent wisdom emboldens one to “live the questions now
so to grow and embody the answers tomorrow.

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These days, by Little Crum Creek, a Nessus sphinx moth (Amphion floridensis)
suspends the lesson between a beckoning lilac and its transfixed observer,

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unfurling a feeder toward ephemeral blooms before the season passes.

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an eastern towhee
emerges from leaf litter shade
in the drizzling rain

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Weeks before attracting larger palates with ripening fruit,
blackberry brambles invite the pollinating flights of more modest appetites.

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Analeptura lineola, one of the long-horned beetles known as “flower longhorns,”
busily feeds at a blackberry flower.

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Already, down by the creek, Japanese knotweed obscures a view
of the green heron’s usual work.

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That’s why it’s a special treat to spy one up in the trees
casting a gaze across its fishing bill.

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