wind

The leaves on the sapling tulip tree are already big enough to blow backwards. A tanager’s plucked-string call. It begins to sleet.

Warm and windy. Nuthatch and woodpecker calls intermingle with the creaks and rattles of trees, most of which have now burst their buds.

Just-opened leaves on the big tulip poplar, as absurdly small as the unicycles ridden by circus bears. Wind rustles in the dry forest floor.

Warm sun, cold wind. Three chickadees make noise in the lilac’s flaming green limbs. The shadow of a vulture glides slowly across the yard.

A half-inch of snow on the ground at sunrise. I look away, at the blue-gray sky. The bare trees shake and chafe, rattle and groan.

An inch of new snow and a bitter wind. Daffodils droop like old balloons. A white-throated sparrow’s song pauses and resumes one octave up.

Sunny and cool. A small brown moth flies past, fluttering hard against the wind. From the interstate to the west, the whine of a speed bike.

It’s cold. Small groups of leaves scurry this way and that. The machine-gun rattle of a downy woodpecker on an especially hard hollow limb.

After hard rain in the early hours, the sky is a patchwork of light and dark. The wail of a freight train is faintly audible above the wind.

At the woods’ edge, the tulip poplar sprouts a scarlet thorn: pileated woodpecker. A gust of wind drops a dried leaf into my lap.

Trees rock and sway in the wind—still the quiet wind of winter, hissing only in the pines. The startled flute of a mourning dove’s wings.

Branches clack like arrhythmic castanets in the high wind. A few sunlit snowflakes hurtle past, refugees from who knows what distant cloud.

In the Sunday morning silence, I can hear the wind reshuffling fallen leaves half-way up the ridge and the long sighs of the pines.

After a night of high winds, the lilac is more threadbare than ever, and in the crowns of the oaks, only the odd clot of a drey remains.

The wind has made the leaves at the end of the porch draw into a circle. A red-tailed hawk soars over the house, flapping to stay aloft.