March 2011

Three inches of sticky snow have turned the trees white and intricate, with many moving parts: sparrows, robins, a blackbird’s creak.

Overcast. A train whistle coming from the wrong direction. The resident naturalist stops at the corner of the wall, gets out her hand lens.

A pair of ducks fly silently through the trees: the mallards who return every spring to nest on the mountain, a mile from the nearest pond.

A little less cold, a little less clear as we inch toward the warm mud of April. The cardinal pays her morning visit to her glassy rival.

The rapid scrabble of claws on bark, that waterfall sound. Three chasing squirrels spiral down the big locust like an animated barber pole.

Heavy frost, and the bare dirt in the garden has crystallized into icy turrets. Motes of snow float past, backlit by the sun. Robin song.