Dark and rainy. Peepers call from the marsh, and the half-leafed-out lilac seems to glow, achingly green against the brown woods.
Two ravens in the rain. One flies off to the south and the other lands on a dead branch. It breaks, and the bird flies off to the north.
On the myrtle flowers, nothing but native bees. The sun fades. A black-throated green warbler calls, switching between its two buzzy songs.
On a cold, clear morning, the calls of birds seem almost crystalline. To say nothing of the whistle of a westbound freight…
In a gust of wind, one dead leaf dances too crazily: a question mark butterfly. It rests with its orange wings open to the sun.
Two male flickers fighting over the dead elm and its den-hole joust in the garden, jabbing and feinting with their long bills.
A cloudless blue sky. It’s hard to tell the pale elm flowers from the sunlight shining on bare twigs and branches. A dove calls and calls.
Cold winds stir the leaves on the forest floor in lieu of anything better. A towhee seeks the shelter of the lilac for her own rummaging.
The myrtle that has taken over half my yard is in bloom: a scatter of blue. At the woods’ edge, two blue-headed vireos compare songs.
Sunny and warm. A goldfinch drops down among the black currant bushes with their half-open leaves to dip her bill into the sky-blue stream.
A Chinook helicopter flies low over the trees, with its twin rotors like a pair of malignant insects mating in flight, gravid with soldiers.
A red-tailed hawk spirals high on a thermal over the powerline. When I stand up, a raven takes off behind the house—the noise of its wings.
The flickers that have been hanging around the yard copulate next to the old den hole in the elm snag—the one a black snake raided in 2012.
A single-prop plane circles high over the valley for more than an hour—flying lesson? A missing child? The dry rattle of chipping sparrows.