Gray and cool. The first hummingbird zooms past. A pileated woodpecker flies in to hammer the old butternut stump, keeping a wary eye on me.
A half-warm morning, with the sun half out. I notice that birds have made so many holes in the old hornets’ nest, it’s now Janus-faced.
The catbird is back, improvising lines of its spring-long solo in a cold drizzle. The edge of the woods is an impressionist’s soft blur.
Bright and cold. The wind sounds different from the last time it blew this hard, more hush and rustle—tiny new leaves’ ambitious whispers.
Steady rain. In the yard, right where the biggest snowdrift had sat, a small clump of pale-yellow mushrooms has appeared.
Heavy clouds, but only a few drops fall. A mourning dove and a red-bellied woodpecker go over and over their opposing points of view.
The fluttery way a Cooper’s hawk flies, skimming the treetops. Later, a jet goes the same way, its contrail just the briefest I and I.
The first cabbage whites of spring! said no one ever. But their mad pas de deux is as full of zest as the tiger beetle gleaming green below.
The tall tulip tree has burst its buds—shining green nubbins against the deep blue. Two crows chase a raven, diving, jeering themselves on.
In the woods, soft green clouds of newly opened leaves here and there. In the garden, the first bleeding-hearts—hunched, almost apologetic.
Low clouds of variable darkness. A turkey vulture flaps its wings, struggling to get aloft. The weather app says it will rain in 37 minutes.
A green haze of invasives: daylily, barberry, garlic mustard. A gnatcatcher hovering and diving between raindrops—the tick tick of its bill.
The croak of a raven skimming the treetops. A white-throated sparrow fresh from bathing in the stream grooms itself in the weak sunshine.
A blush of blossoms on the ancient red maple, one of my most important teachers when I was young and learning to climb—on branches now gone.