April 2015

A masked bird skulks through the lilac: the first common yellowthroat. Clouds gather, and the shadbush blossoms disappear into the sky.

A gnatcatcher is feeding above the stream, wings back-lit by the mid-morning sun as it twists and dives and pivots like a kung fu master.

Sky bluer than a bruise. A small salticid spider suns itself on my sweater. The first carpenter bee makes a slow inspection of the porch.

Overcast and breezy. The daffodils are beginning to droop like old balloons. A black-throated green warbler sings once and moves on.

Bright sun, cold shadows. Down in the hollow, two downy woodpeckers are engaged in a head-banging competition. The neighbor’s rooster crows.

A ruffed grouse drums and a field sparrow sings with almost the same accelerating rhythm. The hollow gurgle of the stream under the yard.

It’s just above freezing, bright sun alternating with clouds. The usual bird calls seem to have an almost interrogatory tone.