In the steady rain, a winter wren sings his summer song at the woods’ edge; on a log over the creek; in the heart of the gold-budded lilac.

Sun gleams on the rain-damp leaf duff. In the blue sky, a grackle cackles. Blue jays jeer. The lilac limbs are beginning to blush green.

‪A love triangle of squirrels clambering through the lilac, shaking puffs of fresh snow from the limbs. The chattering call of a small hawk.‬

In the midst of all this gray, the hulking green lilac—summer’s unfinished business. A crow crosses the sun, leaving a trail of complaints.

A pileated woodpecker lands on the dead elm with a rattle of wings, the elm swaying. Below in the lilac a titmouse hammers away at an acorn.

Two cabbage whites engage in a dogfight, or possibly a pas de deux. A leaf detaches itself from a lilac branch and turns into a hummingbird.

At the woods’ edge, three yellow hats: iris gone feral. A hummingbird rockets back and forth through the lilac, showing off for a female.