mountain laurel

Two wild turkeys cross the road into the woods, their dark feathers shining in the sun as they disappear into the equally lustrous laurel.

Fast moving cumulus clouds. When the sun comes out, it glistens on the mountain laurel leaves in the woods and in the yard, the periwinkle.

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.

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.

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.