Mid-morning, and a wood thrush lands in the walnut tree next to the driveway to sing a few bars. A net-winged beetle flies past.
A few drops of rain. A gnatcatcher fluttering up from the weeds to a walnut tree swerves to—I assume—catch a gnat.
The first bergamots are in bloom, next to the first soapwort. In walnut-tree shade, the permanent shadow of a common yellowthroat’s mask.
Overcast and cool. A titmouse appears to have developed a taste for caterpillars, circling the trunk of a walnut like a nuthatch.
A mid-air tangle between a phoebe and a wood pewee ends with the latter calling once from a walnut branch and flying back into the woods.
The last patch of snow is sinking into the earth. A titmouse flits from branch to branch up a walnut sapling, whistling softly to himself.
Overcast and cold. A squirrel is picking up fallen black walnuts, removing their rotten husks, and burying them in the half-frozen yard.
Out at first light. Venus is visible through the thin fog, slowly fading until I lose it in the already-bare branches of a walnut tree.
As the rising sun glimmers through the trees, birch and walnut leaves begin to fall, the first hard frost glittering on the ground.
I am mentally marking walnut saplings for removal when they fill with migrants: yellow-rumped and palm warbler, ruby-crowned kinglet.