This has been a rain day here along the river. Nothing of consequence, just off-and-on showers that occasionally tried to pretend intentions of becoming a real downpour. When I took a last look at the river at twilight, the water level appeared unaffected and showed no hint of discoloration. That could change by morning, of course, depending on upstream rains. Actually, that twilight I mentioned wasn't really twilight in the usual sense of the word, just a darker graying of a gray late-afternoon…which simply kept dimming until you could no longer see the other side of the stream. Moreover, in keeping with the intermittent showers, it had been gray pretty much all day. Sometimes the gray skies lightened and you could make out the bright orb of the sun behind the veil; often, however, you couldn't have pointed toward the sun's position in that slate-colored sky on a bet. I made the most of the day—working at my desk, doing a few household chores. About noon, I spent an hour relaxing with a good book and a pot of lapsang tea. Rain days are good work days. I get a lot done—and I also find time to relax. However, just because I hunkered indoors doesn't mean there wasn't a lot of activity going on outside. Squirrels galore bounded across the grass and chased each other up and down the trees. I think my squirrel population increases every month. The feeders also did a steady business—chickadees, titmice, blue jays, cardinals, house finches, goldfinches, nuthatches, red-bellied woodpeckers, downies. A brown creeper investigated the box elder. A Carolina wren tapped along the windowsill. The ducks dove in the riffle. The heron fished the edge of the pool. I frittered away a fair amount of time watching. In the afternoon, between bouts of rain, I looked up as the Cooper's hawk sailed in and landed on the picnic table. The big bird stretched and looked around, the perfect picture of a hungry guest trying to locate the smorgasbord. He'd apparently decided to drop by the riverbank restaurant for a meal—except this time, every potential entrée had made good their escape. Sometimes fast food is just too fast to catch, even for a hawk. Following a couple of minutes of posing and glaring, the hungry hawk flew off. A few minutes after that, the feeder crowd was back and busy…maybe even celebrating. Just a slow, rainy day on the riverbank.