Lichens are aglow after a night of rain, the tulip tree’s trunk painted the same pale green as its leaves. New warbler songs off in the fog.
Thin fog. Two wood thrushes skulk around the edge of the yard. A crow finds something hiding in the pines and tries to raise an alarm.
Cold rain. Tiny leaves make pointillist patterns against the fog. Only the lilac is fully leafed out—big green alien still on its own clock.
Cold drizzle. A brown thrasher improvises at the woods’ edge, and I spot the first tent caterpillar web—a tiny white flag in a wild cherry.
Overcast and cold. I am listening to the woodpeckers the way one listens to a marimba, savoring the varied, rich tones of dead wood.
Warm and windy. Nuthatch and woodpecker calls intermingle with the creaks and rattles of trees, most of which have now burst their buds.
High clouds spread and thicken—slow yeast in a blue bowl. A hornet hovers behind my head, buzzing like an alarm clock I can’t turn off.
Cold air, warm sun. Two male towhees tweet at each other in the lilac. The old crabapple is coming into bloom, as shockingly pink as ever.
The black birches are in blossom—gray catkins dangling like understated feather boas. Nothing like the wild pear tree’s blaring white.
Overcast and damp. A tom turkey’s lusty declarations echo off the hillside, punctuated by the crisp, interrogatory whistles of a cowbird.
Just-opened leaves on the big tulip poplar, as absurdly small as the unicycles ridden by circus bears. Wind rustles in the dry forest floor.
A gnatcatcher crosses the yard. Its flight as erratic as a butterfly’s is punctuated by the briefest of pauses to ingest its eponymous prey.
A paper wasp slowly inspects the porch railings, long legs dangling. Just inside the woods’ edge, one pale bone of a log gleams in the sun.
White clouds of shadbush blossoms off in the woods. A tiger swallowtail circles the yard—the silent applause of its great yellow wings.
The raspy call of a red-winged blackbird, rare visitor to the mountain. A lone Canada goose goes over, honking steadily. The sun comes up.
A halictid bee lands on the top railing and presses her dark abdomen to the warm wood. A honeybee on a lower rail cleans her antennae.