Gray squirrel in a walnut tree gnawing on a walnut, fox squirrel in a maple feasting on maple keys: one spits out shells, the other, wings.
A chipping sparrow foraging below the porch at sunrise flits up to a branch with a beakful of fine, gray, nest-lining material: my own hair.
Breezy and just 3 degrees above freezing. A warbler marbled like a sideways zebra wheezes from the lilac: black-and-white, easiest of i.d.s.
Hard rain at dawn on International Migratory Bird Day, and all the calls blend into one. Yellow Baltimore field thrush, where are you?
Blue overhead at sunrise; cloudy to the north. Bluejays jeer through the sunlit treetops, the margins of their tails white as semaphors.
I ponder the walking onion in my herb bed—how did it get here? A hummingbird lands on the tip of a branch and shakes water from its wings.
So clear, it almost hurts: so blue, so green. And the yellow warbler singing what birders always hear as “sweet-sweet-sweet-I’m-so-sweet.”
Great-crested flycatcher in the bare branches of a locust, silhouetted against the sky. A jet appears: no trail, just a gleaming splinter.
Mid-morning, through the screen door, faint bell-like notes. I put the phone down and rush out into the rain. The wood thrush is back.
Tiger and spicebush swallowtails circle the white lilac. Leaves blow backwards. A ruby-throated hummingbird hovers a foot from my nose.