Today instead of the usual quickie here I wrote a proper Morning Porch poem over at the ol’ Via. Bon appetit.
Cloudless and cool. Craneflies drift through shafts of sun like angels with spider legs, as the afterimages from a night of terrifying dreams fade from view.
Memorial Day. The dame’s-rocket lining the driveway is at its height of purple. A hen turkey at the woods’ edge clucks and calls. Summer’s here.
Filmy-winged insects drift through rays of sun. A wood thrush comes out into the meadow, hopping like a robin along the edge of the drive.
Another clear, cold morning with little dew. Goldfinches gad about in the tops of the locusts, seemingly oblivious to other birds’ territorial obsessions.
Cold and clear 40 minutes before sunrise. A shadow flutters in beside the porch and begins to shriek: whippoorwill. When he finally stops, the meadow is alive with twittering.
Cold and clear. An Acadian flycatcher gleans breakfast from the undersides of leaves, among the green dreadlocks of a blossoming walnut.
As early as I get up, I still feel like a late riser: just past six and the birds are already winding down, the sun glimmering though the trees—an eye reddened by smoke from distant forests.
Humid but blessedly cool; the air’s alive with birdsong and slow-moving insects. Rabbits chase and graze among half-grown bracken.
A few minutes past sunrise, from the still-deep shadows under the trees, the song of a vagrant Swainson’s thrush, hoarse but ethereal, rising in pitch like a rhetorical question.
In the half-light of dawn, a Carolina wren burbles aggressively inches away from my ear. Three fledgling wrens blink awake in the porch rafters.
The snap of a gnatcatcher’s beak behind the lilac, and just beyond, a wood pewee’s melismatic drawl. The sun glimmers briefly through a hole in the clouds.
An American redstart calling from the top of the nearest walnut sounds so insistent, but about what? I’m here! This is my tree! Or maybe just: Good morning!
High-altitude murk gives the low-angled light a timeless feel. It’s barely above freezing, but the birds still sound ecstatic. Tennessee or Blackburnian warbler? That accelerating buzz…