On a bright morning, I can almost forget how many of the laurel bushes shining in the sun are sick and dying. A titmouse’s monotonous call.
A high-pitched barking at sunrise. Three lost dogs come running through the mountain laurel, metal tags jangling around their necks.
Shreds of clouds disintegrate as they drift toward the east. Sun on wind-tossed mountain laurel leaves—the whole hillside shimmers.
All up the hillside, the glossy leaves of mountain laurel shimmer in the sun and wind. Minute snowflakes from who knows where pelt my cheek.
During a lull in the snow, our neighbor drives past on the tractor. A deer leaps up from a patch of laurel, runs a few steps and stops.
The first bright sun since the leaves came down. I’m dazzled by the hillside of gleaming laurel interspersed with white flashes—junco wings.
Another dark, humid morning. A deer comes crashing through the laurel, turns and doubles back, as if trying to shake her entourage of flies.
Cloudless and cool. The only cricket sound is a low murmur. From up in the woods, the distant crashing of deer running through the laurel.
At first light, the sound of deer running through the woods: the crash of hooves, the swish of blossom-heavy branches of mountain laurel.
I can’t stop looking at the vivid green lilac, translucent in the mid-morning sun. In the woods beyond, the laurel is a blaze of gloss.
Rain. Two deer in a high-speed chase crash through the laurel, the one in pursuit grunting like a buck gone into rut eight months early.
The white flame of a deer’s tail bobs among the laurel. Another doe shakes her head, flinging rain water in all directions.
I think it’s partly because the hillside is covered with evergreen laurel that this phenomenon of a white ground still seems so surreal.
Sticky and warm. A clink of ice in my coffee startles up a deer, her tan coat passing in front of a cloud of blossoming mountain laurel.
Backlit by the sun, the weathered mountain laurel bushes turn to green fire under the trees, with pale shadows that must be patches of snow.
A juvenile buck chases a much larger doe through the laurel, knobs for antlers and his grunts still half-bleat. The damp woods glistening.