Snowflakes swirl past and vanish into the weeds. Only the springhouse roof is cold enough for them, but soon it too turns back to gray.
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.