A brief lull in the rain at dawn, darkness full of the sound of rushing water and the dim shapes of the first daffodils, face-down in the dead grass.
Gray and still. Springs gurgle their liturgies. Looking nervously all about, a squirrel disinters a walnut and races into the woods with it.
Fog and scattered showers. The last few woodcock peents overlap with phoebes—two of them already, trying to out-sing each other.
Cold and gray. Up in the corner of the field, a tom turkey raises and lowers the dark banner of his tail, gobbling at his own magnificence.
A cloud-free morning, the sun through the trees just bright enough to fool my body into feeling warm. A mourning dove’s song sounds reassuring: There. There. There.
Clear and cold. All the while the sunrise seeps down from the treetops, a squirrel files away at a rock-hard black walnut shell to extract meat seasoned by months underground.
A dozen dead leaves circle the yard as the clouds’ bellies turn orange. A phoebe calls once, sotto voce, from a branch above the creek.
The sun guttering below a lid of utility-gray cloud illuminates a small flotilla of snowflakes. It’s quiet apart from one, highly excited wren.
In the half-light of dawn, something approaches, rustling in the dry leaves: rain. A few minutes later, the first phoebe begins his time-worn chant.
Sunrise into slow-moving cirrus; the light dulls like the eyes of a dying fish. In the windless calm, the long gargle of an 18-wheeler descending an exit.
Clear and cold, with a bitter wind to remind me it’s actually March. I watch the sun through the corner of my eye as it climbs through the ridgetop trees.
The porch is plastered with fresh snow; more flakes fly past without stopping. A Carolina wren holds forth from the heart of a barberry.
A fresh inch of wet snow, clinging to every twig—the forest refoliated in white. But already the roof has begun to drip.
Back with the old bank, Daylight Savings and Loan. A fuzzy gibbous moon. Something stirring in the juniper and going back to sleep.