A ""porch step"" naturalist and a shameless anthropomorphizer, Rounds nevertheless does us a favor by sharing his careful, canny observations of the individuals who populate his overgrown backyard. The indecisive thrushes and scatterbrained tufted titmice who nest there counter the common belief that instinct makes all birds know-it-alls. And no incident escapes Round's notice -- from a battle between a wasp and an unusually lucky spider to the frustration of another spider, a fellow with a ""high forehead"" and yellow-orange fur who must share his caterpillar meal with a pesky fly. The yard's larger inhabitants include an arrogant pet chicken and a hard-working mole, but the varied intricate lives of the local wasps are Rounds' foremost passion. Rounds views nature's routines through a humorist's eye, but he's obviously watched carefully and long.