A blue-headed vireo foraging in a birch tree eats as it sings: slow and deliberate, a swallow of insect followed by a few, short notes.
A squirrel climbs to the top of a black cherry tree, samples a budding leaf and dashes back down. The aspens wear a new, gray-green fur.
I look up from my laptop just as a Cooper’s hawk launches from the tulip poplar, flashing through the treetops toward its nest of sticks.
From the greening-up lilac and the blooming forsythia, a steady chatter of goldfinches, their own plumage now turned from green to yellow.
The fierce cries of a male kestrel climbing, fluttering and diving over the corner of the field. A crow hurries over to harass it.
A series of high-pitched howls from down in the hollow: coyotes or children? It’s hard to tell. I watch a silent, nearly motionless crow.
A chickadee carries a piece of gray down into their hole in the tree; its mate follows it in. A minute later it carries the down back out.
Clear—but how clear? I notice a faint haze in the sky near the sun. Off in the woods, the white cloud of another shadbush coming into bloom.
The hammer-blows of a pileated woodpecker opening up an oak. Peonies are sprouting in the garden, an infant’s pink, half-open fists.
A towhee sits on a high branch at sunrise, his breast puffed out against the cold. His rufous feathers briefly match the color of the ridge.