Cold rain and fog. A flock of grackles wheels low over the house—the sudden waterfall sound of their wings all turning at once.
Colder than yesterday, but the last bones of snow still didn’t survive the night. A chipmunk takes fright, tail up like an exclamation mark.
Bluebird. Wild turkey. The first phoebe’s soliloquy. Eventually he rounds the house and hovers under the porch roof, bill snapping on a fly.
Warm sun and an inversion layer bringing traffic noise from over the ridge. Cardinals and titmice compete with the whine of truck tires.
Cloudless and still. As the thermometer needle inches past freezing, the first bluebird of spring warbles once up by the barn.
Bright sun, bitter wind. With the snow almost gone, the neighbors’ chickens must be out of their coop: the rooster crows and crows.
Sunlight at half-strength on the half-gone snow. Behind the house, a squirrel twists and rubs itself ecstatically against a rotten stump.