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.
Where rabbits take shelter under the lilac, several limbs have been de-barked near the ground, bone-yellow against the crust of snow.
Early morning sounds like spring, with cardinals, titmice and song sparrows tuning up. A rabbit stands on its hind legs to reach lilac buds.
Chickadees are geniuses at staying busy. I watch the usual flock of five investigate the lilac as if they’d never seen it in their lives.
In the cold wind, a gray fish fights against the lilac twig that snagged it: the collapsed remains of a caterpillar tent fallen from a tree.
The Carolina wren doesn’t rise till 9:23. He hops out from under the house, flutters up to the porch and flies into the lilac to sing.
A squirrel leaps through the snow-laden lilac up by the other house, chasing the juncos. Their high, tinny alarm-calls sound like laughter.
Juncos in the stream, juncos in the barberry bushes, juncos on the driveway, juncos in the lilac. Junco tracks in the snow beside my chair.
The lilac is alive with chickadees, sparrows, and a Carolina wren stropping his bill on a twig. He flits to a high perch and begins to sing.
The ethereal notes of cedar waxwings on the wind. In the now-leafless lilac, I spot a black walnut wedged into a cluster of small branches.
A deer under the lilac glows strangely in the sunlight refracted from my bedroom window. The waxy myrtle leaves crackle between her teeth.
After yet another hard frost, the lilac is at its saddest, thinning leaves hanging limp and slightly curled in the weak morning sun.
The sun glimmers through thin clouds, backlighting the green lilac and the sideways-blowing snow. The wail of a freight train on the wind.
A vulture rocks in the wind above the ridge. Juncos and white-throated sparrows flit into the lilac by twos and threes, chirp and fly out.