The leaves on the sapling tulip tree are already big enough to blow backwards. A tanager’s plucked-string call. It begins to sleet.
International Migratory Bird Day. From a tall locust, the lazy call of an eastern wood pewee—last migrant back. A mosquito pierces my cheek.
The worm-eating warbler has taken his rattle deep into the forest. The chipping sparrow’s is louder than ever, echoing off the woods’ edge.
Overcast enough that the wood thrushes are still singing at mid-day. The cloying scent of cypress spurge wafts over from my weedy herb bed.
Overnight fog has revealed the funnel spider webs in the meadow, a fleet of flying saucers hovering three feet above the ground.
Talking drums—two pileated woodpeckers on opposite ridges. Rain taps on the roof. The green wall of leaves at the woods’ edge is filling in.
Over the roar of a tractor, a cuckoo’s soft call. I find a recording on my iPad to verify the species: yellow-billed. He responds at length.
Clear and windy after a week of damp weather. Down by the stream, one or two mayapple flowers peek out from under their crowd of umbrellas.
All the tulip trees I’ve planted over the years are shimmering towers of pale green. A rabbit’s ears twitch in a patch of wild mustard.
Two phoebes hawk insects by the springhouse, while Acadian and great-crested flycatchers call from the woods. It’s a bad day to be a fly.
A catbird in his dapper gray drives an indigo bunting from the yard. Two migrant white-crowned sparrows beside the road load up on grit.
Two crows fly past, staying just inside the woods’ edge. Over the several voices of the creek, a cerulean warbler’s ascending, buzzy trill.
Silent wings of a hawk disappearing behind the trees, those skeletons turning green with new life. The neighbors’ hoarse rooster starts up.
Mid-morning and the bright white room of fog is losing its walls—drifting wisps. Rain-beaded branches glisten in the sudden sun.
Lichens are aglow after a night of rain, the tulip tree’s trunk painted the same pale green as its leaves. New warbler songs off in the fog.
Thin fog. Two wood thrushes skulk around the edge of the yard. A crow finds something hiding in the pines and tries to raise an alarm.