goldfinches

Clear and cold. The continual, waxy chatter of goldfinches, their plumage now a patchwork of winter’s dull green and summer’s crayon yellow.

Now that thistles are going to seed, the goldfinches are nesting at last. Two males chase—streaks of crayon-yellow through the treetops.

Fragments of vireo and goldfinch song mingle with the rain’s thunderous applause. A few filmy-winged insects still somehow manage to fly.

The sky is clearing, the low-angled, mid-morning sun illuminating the woods for minutes at a time. Finches in the birches. A distant raven.

Warmer and overcast. The silhouettes of small birds feeding gregariously in the top of a black birch—goldfinches, I realize when they fly.

In the steady rain, the cheerful bickering of goldfinches. A mosquito brushes against the hair on my arm, looking for a clear way in.

Sunny and warm. A goldfinch drops down among the black currant bushes with their half-open leaves to dip her bill into the sky-blue stream.

One goldfinch in the lilac has already molted into his summer plumage: before the daffodils, spicebush or coltsfoot, the very first yellow.

The ongoing warmth and rain have reduced the snow to scattered patches. Above the roar of the creek, a flock of goldfinches whistling.

The silhouettes of small birds (goldfinches?) darting through the crown of a black birch as wind and driving rain strip it of leaves.

Rainy and cool. A pair of goldfinches spiral up from the meadow, twittering. I find a dead ant in my last mouthful of coffee.