Gray sky; the smell of rain. Two insomniac screech owls exchange trills. Then the low-frequency thumps of a grouse. An enormous silence.
Behind all the birdsong, I gradually become aware of a metronome I haven’t heard since last fall: a chipmunk clucking up in the woods.
Mid-morning: overcast, 36°F, but the wood frogs are making a ruckus in their eyedropper of a pond. Yellow buds swell on the French lilac.
Somewhere in the fog, a red-winged blackbird, a pair of mourning doves, a robin, a flock of finches. Half an hour later, nothing but rain.
The feral cat is back from wherever it goes for the winter. It crouches on a fallen limb, eyes fixed on the weeds, gathered for the spring.
Back below freezing, and the morning chorus is much more subdued as a result. That missing element of excitement? Flying insects.
At mid-morning, the trill of a screech owl. The sun struggles to shine; blurry shadows appear. A crow flies over quacking like a mallard.
Dad reports that when he went outside around 8:00, a gray fox was sitting in the driveway. They watched each other for more than a minute.
The sky—so much more nuanced and interesting than yesterday’s clear blue! The light—so much blander! A zero-sum game between earth and sky.
Cold but clear. Two crows are arguing: the one caws, the other makes that strange scraping rattle, like a sound effect from a horror film.