In the light rain, a squirrel feasts on red maple keys. Reduced to pieces, the blades flutter straight down, robbed of all ability to spin.
In one direction, a singing wood thrush; in the other, a red-eyed vireo. Evocative refrain or dull repetition? It’s all in the delivery.
Clouds like scales on the belly of a blue fish. In the garden, ants immobilized by the cold cling to the sweet pink seams of peony buds.
The flower heads on the white lilac are half-brown now. Two phoebes take turns flying into the bush, momentarily quelling insistent peeps.
Warm, humid, and overcast. In the side garden, the first twelve yellow irises opened in the night. Small flies walk all over my legs.
Robins mating on a branch: one-second contacts spaced half a minute apart. Each time the male flies off and the female ruffles her feathers.
The gibbous moon no sooner clears the trees than the sun comes up. First crystal-clear morning in weeks, and I’m off to New Jersey.
A male robin scours the forest floor for twigs; the female combs the lawn for dead grass. The small thorn bush shakes when they both fly in.
Sun! I hear the crow that thinks it’s a duck, a catbird’s simultaneous translation of a wood thrush song. Last night, I dreamed of bluejays.
A gray squirrel seems to be in heat: as in January, the slow-motion chases, the soft scold-calls, but now mostly hidden by the leaves.
Birdcall like the chant of some demented sports fan: the yellow-billed cuckoo is back! The forest canopy must be full enough to skulk in.
A black-and-white warbler’s two-syllable whisper; drumroll from a Good God bird. The clock is blinking—what time is it? The patter of rain.
The same woodpeckers and nuthatches that we heard all winter, but with flickering leaves. The same wind as yesterday, but with golden light.
At 6:00, the sky grows dark again as a storm approaches. Wood thrushes start back up. The lilac’s white torches all point at the ground.