Clear, clear, clear: say the same thing often enough, the cardinal knows, and one day you’ll be right. The east is red with maple blossoms.
My dial thermometer’s big red arrow says just above freezing; its shadow says just below. And in the glass, bare trees, clouds flying south.
When the sun finally breaches the fog, the forest drips with jewels. In the yard, the first native wildflower opens its pin-sized blooms.
Overcast and cold. Ten feet up the trunk of the big maple, a fox squirrel drinks sap from a slit the woodpeckers have widened.
The sun blazes through naked trees still six weeks from leaf-out. Three vultures wheel, flapping to stay aloft in the frigid air.
It’s cold. The first two miniature daffodils are open, and stand among the crowd of upright buds with their heads bowed toward the earth.
I watch it grow light, then start to grow dark again. A rustle in the leaves that starts as the footfalls of deer turns to rain.
A cloudless morning, and cold, but the field sparrow who just returned yesterday is trying to get something started with his rush of notes.
The last patch of snow vanished in the night, leaving only the fuzzy erasers of pussy willow to remind us of the purity of the blank page.
Rain from what must be thin clouds. The sunrise glow lights up a deer at the wood’s edge, bright as litter against the brown leaves.
The song sparrow sings at first light—just once, like an alarm going off. Then nothing but the creek’s quiet conversation for 20 minutes.
I hear distant goose music and scan the sky. A thousand feet up, against a web of contrails, a lone Canada goose is heading north.
Cardinal, song sparrow, phoebe, robin… the spring chorus is already taking shape. Overhead, the calls of crows, their labored wingbeats.
Thin stratus cloud, but the air’s clear as ever. The first phoebe is back, revisiting all his old haunts to make sure his song still works.