Overcast and cool. A chickadee lands on a dead rose bush and sings his minor-key song with a caterpillar dangling from his beak.
Non-stop noise from the indigo buntings. One of them drops into the deer-ravaged rosebush and flutters madly, subduing some luckless insect.
As my father walks out of the woods, a rabbit bursts from a rosebush and dashes under the porch. A zebra spider circles the rim of my mug.
Under the deer-ravaged rosebush in the middle of the yard, a round patch of blood some three inches wide, turned pink by a dusting of snow.
Snow falling in large, wet clusters: I watch the woods whiten. Small clouds of powder in a multiflora rosebush as snowbirds dart in and out.
The sky is mangy, with blue patches showing through, and the yard is leprose with tracks. A rabbit twitches under the deer-ravaged rosebush.
Sleek silhouette of a sharp-shinned hawk. In the rosebush’s densely scribbled heart, the faint throbbing of something with very small bones.
A fresh six inches of snow. Most tree branches have been swept clean by the wind, but the rose bush harbors a tangle of snowy canes.
The rabbit ambles out of its favorite rose bush—no minks in sight this morning—and nibbles on a tuft of grass at the edge of the driveway.
Red leaves in the yard—the red of spring rather than autumn. The multiflora rose, pruned once again by passing deer, struggles to re-leaf.
Bright and windy. A towhee flies in and out of a multiflora rose bush seemingly without a care, as if it weren’t studded with sharp hooks.
A half-grown rabbit emerges from the rosebush and pauses in the middle of the blue driveway to shake its head and scratch behind its ears.
Deer have been eating the wild rosebush again, and the yard is a maze of rabbit tracks. The fog lifts for a minute, then returns.
Soggy woods under a gray sky. In the multiflora rose bush, a junco’s tail keeps flashing white as it struggles for a perch among the thorns.
Even the invaders’ spring is late: barberry, lilac, multiflora rose just now leafing out, the hated myrtle purpling what used to be a lawn.
In the deer-ravaged rosebush in the middle of the yard, I spot a bald-faced hornet’s nest, its dark opening fixed on the half-dead cherry.