Olmstead moves beyond the Threshold of retirement to meditations on the seasonal glories of the local landscape. He watches orioles, bitterns, and thrashers, knows the crows are eyeing his clothes, anticipating castoffs. He admixes a downy woodpecker attacking a suet ball, follows maple leaves falling in inscrutable sequence, finds cobwebs on the morning lawn in summer. ""Anyone who grows sweet corn and Bibb lettuce knows what gardening happiness really is."" Hidden among the appreciations and daily strolls are dry observations that illumine other corners, other realities, such as the Christmas season ""with its indigestion, strain of relatives, and aftermath of bankruptcy,"" or an ""incidental statistic"" of one year's freak growth period: ""The gin season required an extra case of tonic."" Within the genre, miles from Dillard's Tinker Creek, closer to Borland's terrain.