phoebe

Deer follow their long-legged shadows through the trees. Three phoebes chase through the branches and three chipmunks through the leaf duff.

A pair of phoebes flutter under the porch eaves, see me and the dog and retreat to a nearby branch. The first daffodils nod in the breeze.

‪Bluebird. Wild turkey. The first phoebe’s soliloquy. Eventually he rounds the house and hovers under the porch roof, bill snapping on a fly.‬

Breezy and cool. Three phoebes hawk for insects along the woods’ edge while a young pine or blackpoll warbler flits through the goldenrod.

A burst of activity at the top of one of the tall locusts: chickadees scold, a phoebe catches gnats, and other birds sit shining in the sun.

Phoebes mate in the rain, their thin branch bobbing as they touch tails. I crush a slow flood-water mosquito with a clap of my hands.

A phoebe catches insects right in front of the porch with a sound like the snapping of fingers as each exoskeleton is crushed in its bill.