Just in from the woods’ edge, pileated woodpeckers are carrying on like drunks at a party, hollering, pounding, shrieking with joy or rage.
A turkey vulture glides low over the trees, circles once to gain altitude, setting off a jay and a squirrel, and soars off down the ridge.
When I finally pay attention, what do I see? Just gnats orbiting an apparently arbitrary point in the middle of the yard. Just their wings.
A catbird calls so incessantly I begin to doubt it’s a catbird until it flies past. You can’t hear the ocean here but we have tree crickets.
Cold and quiet, with a sky almost as blue as the jays in the treetops. One of them keeps making a rattling sound, as if clearing its throat.
Cool and clear, with sunlight just beginning to gild the treetops. From the woods’ edge, the plucked-string call of a migrant tanager.
The trees were full of warblers just before I came out, the resident naturalist informs me. Walnut leaves flutter down like shed feathers.