The old cherry stump beside the porch has once again attracted a pair of nest-minded chickadees. They pop in and out of its many holes.

‪Overcast and cool. I’m outside for an hour and there’s no point at which something—chipmunk, squirrel, towhee, siren—isn’t signalling alarm.‬

‪I sit with my feet propped on the top railing as usual. A chickadee with a beak full of grass lands on my boots and hops from toe to toe.‬

The black birch catkins are even longer and yellower than yesterday, shining in the rain. The shadbush have traded blossoms for pale leaves.

‪A red-tailed hawk flies just inside the woods’ edge, past the birches with their catkins and the rambling old lilac just coming into bloom.‬

‪The rhyming couplets of a brown thrasher. A blue-headed vireo’s dreamy soliloquy. When the sun comes out, raindrops glisten on every twig.‬

‪Something sets off the neighbor’s rooster, and a few moments later a raven flies past the porch, croaking like a duck with laryngitis.‬