tufted titmouse

A titmouse scolds something hidden among blood-red barberries. The dead stiltgrass twitches with a second life like hair on a corpse.

Another perfect morning. A hummingbird lifts off from the bergamot, tailed closely by a moth. The quiet, anxious calls of a titmouse.

Cold and bright. When I open the door to go in, the wind blows a titmouse in with me. It flies from window to window, clawing at the glass.

Overcast except for a hole where the sun glows like a bleary eye in a socket. A titmouse taps on a windowsill to open a sunflower seed.

A titmouse taps in the rain gutter, its absurd crest buffeted by the wind. Scattered snowflakes dart this way and that as if on a mad hunt.

Back after a week away, I gaze into a grayer, more open forest. The wind makes forays to rustle in the fallen leaves. A titmouse scolds.

On a bright morning, I can almost forget how many of the laurel bushes shining in the sun are sick and dying. A titmouse’s monotonous call.

At the woods’ edge, a jumble of bone-white sticks: spicebush branches debarked by rabbits. A gray blur where a titmouse grooms in the lilac.

A bluejay imitates a titmouse, blaring the first note of its call, and drops down to drink from the sky-blue trickle in the ditch.

Rain just past, the gray sky brightens above the eastern and western horizons. A titmouse descends singing into the lilac.

Early morning sounds like spring, with cardinals, titmice and song sparrows tuning up. A rabbit stands on its hind legs to reach lilac buds.

A titmouse inspects the undersides of several limb-stumps on the dead cherry snag, its cap wobbling. Shadows fade in and out. It’s cold.

A low drone of traffic from over the ridge. Half-blinded by the sun, I see the backlit wings of small birds as sudden flowers opening.