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.
The flickers that have been hanging around the yard copulate next to the old den hole in the elm snag—the one a black snake raided in 2012.
A single-prop plane circles high over the valley for more than an hour—flying lesson? A missing child? The dry rattle of chipping sparrows.
After a night below freezing, the daffodils sag on their stalks like half-deflated balloons in the bright sun. The stream’s quiet gurgle.
A steady thrum of rain on the porch roof. The big red maple at the corner of the old corral is a cloud of salmon blossoms in the half light.
I poke my head out at first light. The moon has disappeared, and in its place the first towhee’s shrill and cheerful call. I go back to bed.
The high-pitched cries of a Cooper’s hawk. I watch him move from tree to tree half-way up the ridge, wings shining in the soft light.
Clear sky at sunrise, but the woods are still dripping. The sun sets the mist aglow. Trembling drops shift from color to color, prismatic.
The last few wood frogs still croaking down in the marsh give way to spring peepers, who soon fall silent in turn. Then the patter of rain.
Warm and bright. A tiny, black salticid spider descends the shady side of a porch column, edges around into the sun and dashes into a crack.
One goldfinch in the lilac has already molted into his summer plumage: before the daffodils, spicebush or coltsfoot, the very first yellow.
Half an hour till sunrise. Over the brassy din of the dooryard birds, from off in the fog, the soft, wandering warble of a winter wren.
Rain begins at mid-morning: a cold drizzle. The sparrows in the lilac stop singing, but vultures still drift back and forth along the ridge.