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.
The first rays of sun catch a small spider spinning a line down from the porch eaves. One degree above freezing, and a deep blue sky.
Four deer in the yard at daybreak, their pelts still bearing the imprint of the ground where they slept. I sneeze. White flags of panic.
The last few feet of the tulip poplar’s lowest branch is yellow, the portion that had been stuck in the snow—debarked by hungry mice.
A pair of mallards—probably the ones who nest every year in the field—are dabbling in the flooded creek, here, there, like connoisseurs.
After all-night rain, the snow is almost gone from the woods, and the gray-brown leaf duff glistens, slick as an amphibian—one that roars.
Fog. Again this morning a killdeer’s keening cry. Yard and field are almost snow-free now, and perhaps their flattened state appeals to him.