The ash tree’s canopy is suddenly threadbare. In the garden, one pigeon keeps chasing all the others off seeds he doesn’t have time to eat.
A starling flock leaves the big ash tree all at once, their cacophony turned into a hush of wings. The sun comes almost fully out.
High gusts of wind. The ash tree—the only tall tree on the block—rocks and sways. A flock of goldfinches hurtles past.
Cloudy but with a patch too bright to look at. A carrion crow calling at the top of the ash tree suddenly adds vocal fry, like a local teen.
Seven starlings fly warbling out of the ash tree. I nudge a long slug with my toe to watch it shrink and retract into an invisible shell.
The tall ash tree sways in the wind and the blackbird’s song sways too. R. points out a juvenile blue tit, its markings still a bit blurry.
Up at 4:15, I go out into the already light garden. A wren sings from the ash. Excited cries of children, who must be setting off on a trip.
5:00 AM in London: sunrise. My body says 1:00. Parakeets go shrieking from their roost in the neighbors’ ash, crossing the gibbous moon.