Few bird calls are audible above the hush of rain falling on new leaves. White lilac and bridal wreath flower heads droop, turning brown.

The warmest morning in weeks. The bracken in my yard that the deer mowed down has raised defiant fists. A red-eyed vireo drones on and on.

On a crystal-clear morning, the whinnying cry of a red-bellied woodpecker seems full of angst, and a jay’s rasping call—pure frustration.

A rabbit in the rain eats grass the way I eat ramen, one long strip disappearing into its mouth, drops flying. A hummingbird buzzes my face.

A phoebe catches insects right in front of the porch with a sound like the snapping of fingers as each exoskeleton is crushed in its bill.

In the tall locusts still bare of leaves, the flaming orange of a Baltimore oriole—no, two orioles in a mad chase. The victor’s brassy song.

The leaves on the sapling tulip tree are already big enough to blow backwards. A tanager’s plucked-string call. It begins to sleet.