Falling birch leaves whirl and tumble through shafts of sunlight. The sine wave of a squirrel crossing the road’s ancient macadam.
In the green and yellow woods, here and there a red branch. But the kinglets in the birches hide their ruby crowns under olive-green shocks.
I wake from a dream of a pub that served nothing but wheat beer to endless rain on yellow leaves: birch and elm, walnut and tulip tree.
Where the sun shines through elms and birches, almost half the leaves are already yellow. In the meadow, the goldenrod is at its height.
The woods’ edge is a collage of pastels: just-opened leaves, catkins, maple keys. The old cherry stump chirps like a phone: baby bluebirds.
The sky is clearing, the low-angled, mid-morning sun illuminating the woods for minutes at a time. Finches in the birches. A distant raven.
Siskins like moveable leaves in a bare birch. A squirrel chiseling a skull-hard walnut falls silent when it reaches the soft cerebrum.
Warmer and overcast. The silhouettes of small birds feeding gregariously in the top of a black birch—goldfinches, I realize when they fly.
Wind shuffles the suddenly yellow leaves of elm and birch—their marked decks. A fly wanders the inside of a window pane on sticky feet.
This spring is like a familiar symphony slowed way down. Grace notes become held notes: birch catkins. Bud-burst in the black cherry trees.