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.
Gurgle of the stream in my left ear, titmice in my right. The crunch of gravel as my dad’s Honda pulls up, silvery blue as new ice.
Hard rain falling into slush, and the fog thickening: cloud into cloud. Buds glow yellow on the lilac where two titmice flit.
Dawn: a thin band of vivid pink. I glance down at my coffee, and when I look back it’s gone, the sky’s gray. A titmouse’s monotonous song.