Steady rain through the intense green of new leaves, softened by fog. A gray squirrel sits hunched over an acorn under the awning of its tail.
Thin fog full of goldfinch chatter and turkey gobbling. A rare red squirrel emerges from the woods and zips all around the springhouse.
Gray skies at sunrise beginning to tap with fingers of rain on this leaf and that—their first real shower. The avian chorus gains a soft percussion.
Cold and clear aside from some high-atmosphere haze, which gives the light a timeless feel as the sun climbs through a hillside of flowering oaks.
Frost in the yard. How many tender young leaves will collapse and blacken at the sun’s touch? A goldfinch warbles in the treetops. A raven gargles.
Three degrees below freezing, but no frost. The dawn chorus seems reduced in volume, though the towhees and one tom turkey aren’t holding back.
Cool and damp at sunrise. A small cottontail grazes at the woods’ edge: a salad of tiny leaves. A gnatcatcher’s soft soliloquy.
In the half-light, the first white blossoms on the old French lilac look like snow. When the whippoorwill pauses for breath, I can hear the first wood thrush’s ethereal song.
Cool and clear at sunrise. A gobbler trailed by two hens parades up into the forest, making a half-turn each time he opens the dark fan of his tail.
Hen turkey calling at sunrise like a rusty machine pleading for oil, the tom interrupting with his usual non sequitur. A squirrel noses the stump of a freshly felled locust.
Below freezing at sunrise, but a breeze seems to have staved off frost. Will oak flowers survive? Will wildlife thrive or starve? So much depends on one or two degrees difference now.
A cold and rainy dawn. The thermometer’s red pointer crosses the Centigrade zero—a null set. I say an atheist’s prayer for all the new leaves.
Back to normal April at last: cool and damp and shining, the woods’ edge a haze of tiny leaves and catkins. The ancient bridal wreath bush is white again.
Sun glimmering through fog as wild turkeys whine and gobble, mourning doves moan, and a red-winged blackbird sings in the marsh.