A wild turkey gobbling on the far ridge. Two field sparrows trade calls, notes rising as they accelerate like engines being revved up.
Back from migration, a Louisiana waterthrush sings above the trickle of a stream. Chickadees excavate a den hole in the dead cherry stump.
A warm morning. When the sun goes in, the birds at last grow quiet, and I can hear wood frogs calling down in the boggy corner of the field.
As my father walks out of the woods, a rabbit bursts from a rosebush and dashes under the porch. A zebra spider circles the rim of my mug.
The phoebe sings lustily for the first time in days, hawking flies on the sunny side of the barn. Bits of cattail down rise from the marsh.
Soft light filtered by a film of cloud. A squirrel carrying a freshly exhumed walnut bounds under the broken dog statue and into the lilac.
All up the hillside, the glossy leaves of mountain laurel shimmer in the sun and wind. Minute snowflakes from who knows where pelt my cheek.
In contrast to the clouds, the snowbank beside the driveway is shrunken and gray, like something left too long at the back of the fridge.
Rain just past, the gray sky brightens above the eastern and western horizons. A titmouse descends singing into the lilac.
Where yesterday the hillside was mostly white, now it’s mostly brown, and the dawn chorus is twice as loud with the addition of one robin.
The first phoebe is finally back, chanting his name in the barnyard. Marcescent leaves of a scarlet oak glow orange, back-lit by the sun.
Overcast and cold. An agitation of nuthatches at the edge of the woods, and somewhere beyond, the thin, high whistle of a tree sparrow.
In the mud bowl of the old robin’s nest that the wind blew out of the cedar tree, a fresh dusting of snow. The cardinal’s monotonous chant.
Three pileated woodpeckers work the trees just inside the woods’ edge, inching up trunks and cocking their heads to listen before they tap.
Blue sky, warm sun. Through a curtain of meltwater I watch small birds fly back and forth, silhouetted against the blazing white yard.
Yet again, the world is transformed by new snow clinging to every twig. The Carolina wren pokes his bill out from under the eaves to sing.