The black birch catkins are even longer and yellower than yesterday, shining in the rain. The shadbush have traded blossoms for pale leaves.

‪The tulip tree’s leaves have burst their buds—a pale green cloud. A gnatcatcher in the shadbush darts and hovers like a slow hummingbird.‬

Against dark clouds, the white blossoms of shadbush massed at the woods’ edge. A vole breaks cover in the yard: a gray streak.

White clouds of shadbush blossoms off in the woods. A tiger swallowtail circles the yard—the silent applause of its great yellow wings.

A few patches of snow linger in the woods, incongruous as the first flowering shadbush trees will seem. A scatter of raindrops on the roof.

A masked bird skulks through the lilac: the first common yellowthroat. Clouds gather, and the shadbush blossoms disappear into the sky.

Clear—but how clear? I notice a faint haze in the sky near the sun. Off in the woods, the white cloud of another shadbush coming into bloom.