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.
A cool, cloudless morning. A raven flies over the house headed south, his loud cronks shattering the Sunday silence. Today will be warm.
Trees sway and gyrate under a blue-gray sky. In a lull between gusts, a lost leaf flutters down out of the clouds. The phoebe calls.
After all-night rain, the sound of rushing water in all directions. I can barely hear the birds. A distant, dull clanking from the quarry.
A pileated woodpecker lands on the dead elm. She drums just below the old flicker den hole, then peers into it, moving her head all about.
A pair of phoebes fly in and out of the old nest under the springhouse eaves. Done foraging, a groundhog barrels full-tilt toward its den.
Two nuthatches meet on a branch for a split-second copulation, then fly off to separate tree trunks to resume foraging, tails to the sky.
On a bright morning, I can almost forget how many of the laurel bushes shining in the sun are sick and dying. A titmouse’s monotonous call.
A dry ticking of junco alarm calls from all directions. A small hawk—Cooper’s or sharp-shinned—hurtles between the snow-plastered trees.