Clouds darken. The wind carries the sound of lawnmowers. When the rain starts, it feels like an unresolved chord finally returning home.
I feel it before I see it: in the half-light, the intense green of new leaves. The sound of field sparrows, towhees, spring peepers, rain.
When the mid-morning rain eases up, the phoebe comes out to hawk for gnats, and I hear the first wood thrush singing—those pure, sad notes.
A phoebe perched high in a red maple shakes rain from its feathers, its tail twitching up and down, up and down among the dark red blooms.
Rain just past, the gray sky brightens above the eastern and western horizons. A titmouse descends singing into the lilac.
A cloud has settled in and delegated to the trees its responsibility to rain. Some restless animal gnaws on a beam under the house.
Blowing snow plasters my boots, propped up on the railing. The creek is living in the past as usual, roaring with last night’s heavy rains.
Over the sound of the wind, the opening note of a fire siren. Thin, cold rain flies sideways, mixed with snowflakes. The sun struggles out.
It keeps raining and stopping, as if on a movie set. Eight rapid pops: someone firing a semi-automatic. The stream gurgles under the yard.
Pale patches on the upper sides of branches, almost like snow: lichens opening their pores to the rain and fog. My left eyelid twitches.
A flat-gray sky. Train whistles and quarry noise travel up the hollow, accompanying two overlapped umbrellas, one black, one white.
Trees glistening with raindrops cast shadows through the rising fog. A sudden ripple of squirrel alarm-calls as a hawk cuts through.
Weather report, 11 a.m.: Light drizzle. Gusts of wind up to 3 MPH. The still-green lilac looks freakish now against the mostly bare trees.
In the cold rain, a squirrel sits on an elm limb with its back to the trunk working on a walnut, its tail folded over its head like a hood.
1:15 a.m. Thinking there’s something chewing on the leaves outside my window, I get the flashlight and discover rain. Time for bed.
The hairs on my arm tower over the scarlet mite wandering among them. The air shimmers with what the Chinese call maomaoyu—fine hair rain.