A squirrel running on the roof above my head: the rhythm of hoofbeats in the paintings of horses from when they were still thought to bound.
A chipmunk appears on the flat stone beside the porch and stares at me as I hum Shostokovich, its cheeks bulged wide as Dizzy Gillespie’s.
After decades of segregation by color, the irises in my garden seem to have interbred: beside the porch, yellow petals with purple wings.
Pale bones of the dead elm, standing at the edge of the yard like an emissary from Lent amidst a Mardi Gras of green, reach into fog.
Fog. The ants who tend the peony buds have been replaced by drops of water—all but one, who moves slow as an astronaut on a strange planet.
Soft taps from a burdock leaf under the drip line: it’s raining. A rose-breasted grosbeak drops into the springhouse marsh to get a drink.
Heavy traffic on the driveway: a baby bunny races back and forth, followed by a strolling pair of catbirds and a robin’s methodical hop.
For an hour now, the red-bellied woodpecker has been trilling almost non-stop: half yell, half peal. Fleabane blooms beside the sidewalk.
The lilacs are fading fast. Where did the spring go? A hummingbird moth pays court to the dame’s-rockets—the new avatars of purple scent.
The Cooper’s hawk chases a redtail out of the woods—guided missile, staccato cry—and lands in a tall yard tree. The first yellow iris.
A female indigo bunting drops into the cherry tree to snack on tiny tent caterpillars, reaching daintily into their vase-shaped nest.
A new birdsong at sunrise: “Pleased pleased pleased to MEETcha!” Likewise, I mutter, trying to place the name. Ah—chestnut-sided warbler.
Strong sun, and the air so clear, I can see the tiniest floating krill. A cranefly seems enormous—until a pileated woodpecker flops in.
Half a degree above freezing at sunrise, and the sky is as clear as it gets. A towhee sings a backwards version of its song.