black birch

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.‬

Chickadees twittering back and forth in the birches. In the snow beside my chair, the small, intricately clawed tracks of a chipmunk.

‪Outlined against the sky, the birch with its finches like leaves animated by separate winds. A downy woodpecker rattles in the cherry snag.‬

Goldfinches repopulate a leafless birch and sit eating seeds. From the east, the sound of the quarry’s crusher, its breakfast of stones.

Snowflakes backlit by the sun. Unlike rain they don’t just fall; they fly. A strip of bark is draped over a birch twig like a spare tie.

After last night’s storm, all the birches and maples at the woods’ edge have lost their bright leaves, the oaks beyond still a sombre green.