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.
Clear and very cold. The muffled roar of distant military jets. From up at the other house, a tufted titmouse’s monotonous chant.
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.
Sunrise turns the western ridge crimson. Chickadees and titmice flit through the branches, calling, while we stand snapping pictures.
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.
Mid-morning. The sun slowly fades behind thickening clouds. Chickadees and titmice flit among the dried goldenrod heads, arguing loudly.
A titmouse hops from one limb-stump to another on the newly truncated cherry snag. Five minutes later, a brown creeper scoots up the bole.
Something in the lilac attracts half-hearted alarms from a chickadee, two titmice and a wren. The lilac leaves hang limp in the humid air.
This morning it’s the titmouse’s turn to sing his spring song—an ode to tedium. I’m grateful when it’s drowned out by a mob of crows.