The red porch floor is pocked with yellowish green pollen. In the garden, a red crabapple petal is plastered to a witch hazel leaf.
I feel it before I see it: in the half-light, the intense green of new leaves. The sound of field sparrows, towhees, spring peepers, rain.
The rattle of a chipping sparrow. The cypress spurge smells so sweet, I resolve not to pull it from my herb bed until it’s done blooming.
When the mid-morning rain eases up, the phoebe comes out to hawk for gnats, and I hear the first wood thrush singing—those pure, sad notes.
A catbird mews from within the crabapple’s scandalous maroon. It starts to rain. A chickadee carries a worm into its hole in the stump.
A cerulean warbler sings at the woods’ edge, the same urgent, rising notes that woke me an hour earlier. But still no wood thrush.
The leaves of the tall tulip tree at the wood’s edge are now as big as babies’ ears. A squirrel cries plaintively from its crown.
Low clouds fly east to west. From above the road, the loud snap of a phoebe’s beak on the spot where some fly had been a moment before.
In a soft light filtered by high clouds, trees framed by a fog of new leaves. After each burst of wren song, the goldfinch commentaries.
Two male woodpeckers rattle at each other from 100 yards apart. A carpenter bee inspects the porch, its drone a perfect generator of unease.
A bluejay imitates a titmouse, blaring the first note of its call, and drops down to drink from the sky-blue trickle in the ditch.
A blue-headed vireo foraging in a birch tree eats as it sings: slow and deliberate, a swallow of insect followed by a few, short notes.
A squirrel climbs to the top of a black cherry tree, samples a budding leaf and dashes back down. The aspens wear a new, gray-green fur.
I look up from my laptop just as a Cooper’s hawk launches from the tulip poplar, flashing through the treetops toward its nest of sticks.
From the greening-up lilac and the blooming forsythia, a steady chatter of goldfinches, their own plumage now turned from green to yellow.
The fierce cries of a male kestrel climbing, fluttering and diving over the corner of the field. A crow hurries over to harass it.