The catbird is already in full throat at sunrise. Six deer graze in the meadow below the blossoming pear tree, muzzles dripping.
An indigo bunting forages in the leaf duff, blue as an antique medicine bottle, while a scarlet tanager calls from the tree above.
Just after sunrise, a wood thrush lands in the trees across from the porch and looks quietly all around. Two hours later, he’s singing.
From just above the ridge, the tremolo call of a loon. I rush to the edge of the porch and scan the lake-blue fissures between the clouds.
Two catbirds tangle in the air above the stream. A hummingbird dive-bombs a gnatcatcher. The first great-crested flycatcher holds forth.
Strange cries coming from the powerline—mammalian, possibly ursine. I’m mesmerized by the sun on the creek. The first hummingbird zips past.
His call sounds much farther away than the lilac, this black-throated blue warbler in his elegant plumage, hiding in the only leafy shade.
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.