One goldfinch in the lilac has already molted into his summer plumage: before the daffodils, spicebush or coltsfoot, the very first yellow.
Juncos rearrange themselves in the lilac—the scrabble of their feet. If nothing else, this winter has brought great stretches of silence.
A junco separated from its flock chirps noisily in the lilac. At the edge of the field, two crows do their frantic best to gin up a mob.
At the woods’ edge, a jumble of bone-white sticks: spicebush branches debarked by rabbits. A gray blur where a titmouse grooms in the lilac.
Freezing rain and sleet have turned the snow as rough as a lizard’s skin. A wren hops through the lilac, poking at the ground with his bill.
Sometime in the night, the rabbit ventured out for a quick snack on lilac bark. Its tracks are half buried by still more snow.
After another cold night, the lilac is carpeting its corner of the yard with the yellow-green curls of its suddenly devalued currency.
Windy and cold. A downy woodpecker works over the dead cherry, sounding like a fast hunt-and-peck typist. A towhee calls from the lilac.
The only singer is the wren in the lilac, cycling through his entire repertoire at breakneck speed. A gray caterpillar inches up my leg.
Two bucks wander past in patchy, shedding coats, spike antlers curved like the horns of anorexic bulls. One pauses to snack on lilac leaves.
A pair of cardinals chirp back and forth in the lilac. A small buck with antlers in velvet crashes out of the woods, chased by a larger doe.
Swarms of spinning maple keys fly this way and that. An indigo bunting bobs up and down in the lilac, swiping his bill against the branch.
Rain in the wee hours has left the lilac with leaves bent over, showing their pale backs. Above, the white missiles of black cherry blooms.
From the greening-up lilac and the blooming forsythia, a steady chatter of goldfinches, their own plumage now turned from green to yellow.
A towhee sits on a high branch at sunrise, his breast puffed out against the cold. His rufous feathers briefly match the color of the ridge.
Soft light filtered by a film of cloud. A squirrel carrying a freshly exhumed walnut bounds under the broken dog statue and into the lilac.