A hen turkey bursts from the cattails beside the springhouse and does a dorky fast walk past the yellow daffodils and into the woods.
Gray sky. A gray squirrel emerges from the tiny attic opening in the springhouse roof and falls head-first into the cattails.
From behind the springhouse, the opening notes of a song sparrow’s song, and a moment later, the closing notes of a white-throated sparrow.
My mother emerges from the weeds beside the springhouse with a handful of mint. Behind her at the woods’ edge, a red-tailed hawk takes wing.
As the sun climbs through the trees, small patches of sunlight appear and disappear in the springhouse meadow, setting the goldenrod aglow.
A towhee by the springhouse sings an inverted version of his usual song. The first purple bergamot is in bloom—a court jester’s absurd hat.
The springhouse phoebe has already found a mate. They take turns fluttering up under the eaves to refurbish the 30-year-old nest.
The spicebush is a haze of yellow beyond the springhouse. Another too-warm morning. What will be left of spring by warbler time?
Sleet rattles on the roof like a fast typist. Two deer in the springhouse meadow: when they stop moving, they vanish into the brown weeds.
A wren sits grooming itself in the sun on the peak of the springhouse roof, fluffing out its breast feathers, probing under its wings.
First snow of the new year: thin as the flaking whitewash on the old springhouse. Two hikers and a dog each wear vests of safety orange.
Clear and still. In the corner of what used to a lawn across from the springhouse, the limbs of a fallen tree shine white with frost.
A Carolina wren breaks the silence, bobbing up and down on the peak of the springhouse roof: one side frosty, the other steaming in the sun.
Rain and fog. A pileated woodpecker performs invasive surgery on a locust tree next to the springhouse, removing a malignant colony of ants.
Clear and bracing, like a shot of vodka. The thirteen cattail heads beside the springhouse sway gently in the dawn light.
Cold and quiet. Two phoebes are refurbishing the nest under the springhouse eaves, going to the stream and returning with beaks full of mud.