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A cicada perched on a limb of the poplar tree above my trailer

There seems to be a healthy balance of insect life on my newly cleared acre. Several types of bees including honey bees work the wildflowers, of which there are surprisingly many for the first season after clearing. I see lots of lady bugs, grasshoppers, and butterflies. To my surprise, I’ve not been bitten by a mosquito all year. Gnats can be bothersome when the humidity is high, but they don’t bite. On up the food chain, the critters that prey on insects also are in good supply. Each evening at dusk the bats come out. There are lots of spiders, including a black widow near the wood pile. And of course there are lots of birds.

One of the many reasons I want meadow rather than lawn is to support the insect life, and, along with the insects, the higher-order critters that depend on them for food. So far, Lily, my four-month-old kitten, has been content to torment the bugs and leave the birds alone.

Lily, photographed through the screen door, a blur as usual. She never stops. I got the slingshot to try to pop the butts of the deer that were stealing my tomatoes. The deer are sneaky, and I never got a shot at them.

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