Through green-gold leaves backlit by the sun, a scarlet flame and the slow, newspaper flap of black and white: pileated. The Good God Bird.
When I come out, I find my chair turned to the wall, two jets taking their trails along with them into the west, the sun’s flaming sword.
Windy at sunrise, and the thermometer’s arrow just past 32. I scan the low spots for frost, thinking about the oaks’ Rapunzel blooms.
A groundhog emerges from the stream and climbs the roadbank. I glance away for a moment and a turkey takes his place, shining like obsidian.
Drum of rain on the roof and the birds sound distant—robin, field sparrow, cowbird—the world greener than it’s been in seven months.
Sometime past 7:30, the birds fall silent for half a minute and there’s only fog, a slow drip from leaves no larger than squirrels’ ears.
Chipping sparrows are mating on top of the wall around my garden: she raises her tail and he rushes forward for the one-second cloacal kiss.
Mid-morning sun: I’m almost baking until the wind blows, cool as midnight, the chitter of goldfinches interrupted by a raven’s cronk.
Every day is the earth’s birthday. The largest peony plant, though still uncurling, already sports ten small planets midwived by ants.
A scarlet bough at the woods’ edge: I peer through binoculars at the first red maple keys. Deer straggle by in their ragged spring coats.
Sun filtered by thin cirrostratus clouds. The hawk’s shadow is soft as a squirrel’s tail, but it still sets off all the alarms.
What makes the spring peepers start calling in the middle of a morning, with sun so strong I can see the faint pollen filming the floor?
The French lilac whitening into blossom, its once-smooth profile smashed by last October’s snowstorm, finally looks wild against the woods.
A brief blaze of sun through a hole in the clouds. The bridal wreath bush is in full bloom, measuring the wind with stiff white fingers.