A few, wandering flakes slowly build into a snow squall. From my parents’ back porch, the “towhee” call of a towhee that hasn’t gone south.

Overcast. A towhee keeps singing the first two notes of his three-note song. Propped on the railing, my feet appear to anchor a spiderweb.

Cold air, warm sun. Two male towhees tweet at each other in the lilac. The old crabapple is coming into bloom, as shockingly pink as ever.

Sun and wind conspire against the fresh, wet snow clinging to every twig. A towhee calls in the midst of his labors to uncover the ground.

Flies and butterflies, gnats and gnatcatchers, blue-headed vireo, paper wasp. The towhee in the lilac bush starts his song with a stutter.

The lilac trembles from without and within: rain hammers the leaves while birds jockey for shelter under them—towhee, cardinal, wren.

A scattering of white in my overgrown garden: soapwort, bindweed, fleabane, snakeroot. The sky brightens. A towhee calls from the lilac.