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.
The sun climbs through the big red maple. A young Carolina wren sits on the springhouse gable, still and quiet, just swiveling its head.
From what nearby October has it come, this already-red red maple leaf plastered face-down on the red porch floor and beaded with rain?
Two maple keys dangle in an old spiderweb underneath the porch railing, like uneaten remnants of some unfortunate winged creature.
Red maple limbs laden with keys tremble from a pell-mell squirrel. I hear tapping on the storm door, open it and a bee flies out.
A pile of fresh dirt at the woods’ edge: a groundhog has dug a den under the roots of a poison ivy-throttled maple. Will he itch all winter?
Random lilac, red maple and black cherry leaves have flipped over, exposing their pale undersides—evidence of a downpour in the wee hours.
The red maple blossoms are open at last, puffs of red anthers or orange pollen. A white-throated sparrow sings without stopping in the rain.
A squirrel descends an oak at high speed while rolicking robin music plays in the background. Closeup on the maple buds round as stoplights.
Small rain on an east wind. Swelling buds impart a faint red hue to the woods’ edge, and a song sparrow states the obvious: spring is here.
Gray sky. A gray breast feather floats down and lands on the snow. Ten minutes later, a sharp-shinned hawk appears in the big maple.
How does the poison ivy know to turn the same salmon as the red maple it has infiltrated? A phoebe chases a kinglet from the roadside weeds.
From the luminous green wall of the woods, a pewee calls. Maple keys come spinning, take the place of yesterday’s hailstones on the porch.
A scarlet bough at the woods’ edge: I peer through binoculars at the first red maple keys. Deer straggle by in their ragged spring coats.
Clear, clear, clear: say the same thing often enough, the cardinal knows, and one day you’ll be right. The east is red with maple blossoms.
Overcast and cold. Ten feet up the trunk of the big maple, a fox squirrel drinks sap from a slit the woodpeckers have widened.