Cold air, warm sun. Two male towhees tweet at each other in the lilac. The old crabapple is coming into bloom, as shockingly pink as ever.

The black birches are in blossom—gray catkins dangling like understated feather boas. Nothing like the wild pear tree’s blaring white.

Overcast and damp. A tom turkey’s lusty declarations echo off the hillside, punctuated by the crisp, interrogatory whistles of a cowbird.

Just-opened leaves on the big tulip poplar, as absurdly small as the unicycles ridden by circus bears. Wind rustles in the dry forest floor.

A gnatcatcher crosses the yard. Its flight as erratic as a butterfly’s is punctuated by the briefest of pauses to ingest its eponymous prey.

A paper wasp slowly inspects the porch railings, long legs dangling. Just inside the woods’ edge, one pale bone of a log gleams in the sun.

White clouds of shadbush blossoms off in the woods. A tiger swallowtail circles the yard—the silent applause of its great yellow wings.