This spring is like a familiar symphony slowed way down. Grace notes become held notes: birch catkins. Bud-burst in the black cherry trees.
Two gnatcatchers at work. The way every flight turns into a series of mid-air divagations, I wonder if they ever know where they’ll end up.
Another cold and overcast morning. A meadow vole zips into its burrow beside the stream and a song sparrow flies up with an indignant chirp.
Sunny and humid, as dark clouds move in from the west. The quiet wheeze of a black-and-white warbler. The first ovenbird’s strident chant.
Dark and rainy. Peepers call from the marsh, and the half-leafed-out lilac seems to glow, achingly green against the brown woods.
Two ravens in the rain. One flies off to the south and the other lands on a dead branch. It breaks, and the bird flies off to the north.
On the myrtle flowers, nothing but native bees. The sun fades. A black-throated green warbler calls, switching between its two buzzy songs.
On a cold, clear morning, the calls of birds seem almost crystalline. To say nothing of the whistle of a westbound freight…
In a gust of wind, one dead leaf dances too crazily: a question mark butterfly. It rests with its orange wings open to the sun.
Two male flickers fighting over the dead elm and its den-hole joust in the garden, jabbing and feinting with their long bills.
A cloudless blue sky. It’s hard to tell the pale elm flowers from the sunlight shining on bare twigs and branches. A dove calls and calls.
Cold winds stir the leaves on the forest floor in lieu of anything better. A towhee seeks the shelter of the lilac for her own rummaging.
The myrtle that has taken over half my yard is in bloom: a scatter of blue. At the woods’ edge, two blue-headed vireos compare songs.
Sunny and warm. A goldfinch drops down among the black currant bushes with their half-open leaves to dip her bill into the sky-blue stream.
A Chinook helicopter flies low over the trees, with its twin rotors like a pair of malignant insects mating in flight, gravid with soldiers.
A red-tailed hawk spirals high on a thermal over the powerline. When I stand up, a raven takes off behind the house—the noise of its wings.