Another gray morning. From behind the house, a field sparrow’s ascending note, like a translation of ruffed grouse drumming into song.
Despite appearances to the contrary—the sky still gray, rain still withheld—spring has come for the titmouse and his one, querulous note.
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.