A few degrees above freezing. The sun’s still shining when the snow begins to fall, small flakes sifting down through the flowering trees.
The soft colors of trees just coming into blossom: birch, elm, shadbush. The bright yellow on yellow of a bumblebee visiting the daffodils.
The brown thrasher who’s been improvising steadily for half an hour falls silent. A moment later I hear the cak-cak-cak of a Cooper’s hawk.
A chipping sparrow foraging in the dead grass takes a sudden, balletic leap. A mourning dove coos: hoarse, as if actually in mourning.
A hen turkey bursts from the cattails beside the springhouse and does a dorky fast walk past the yellow daffodils and into the woods.
The chickadee hears squirrels chattering alarm at a hawk and freezes in the mouth of her half-finished hole, dark eyes darting all about.
Sunny but still cold at 9:00. A fly walks slowly up a porch column. Water gurgles in the ditch. Three kinds of sparrows trade songs.
Only the tail-tip of the chickadee now protrudes from the dead cherry tree, and I can barely hear it hammering at the rotten heartwood.
A phoebe perched high in a red maple shakes rain from its feathers, its tail twitching up and down, up and down among the dark red blooms.
Pausing every few minutes for a lightning-quick copulation, a pair of downy woodpeckers circle a walnut tree trunk and probe its bark.