The waxy surfaces of laurel and rhododendron leaves glitter in the sun. A bluebird sits silently on a branch, waiting for insects to stir.
It’s humid. A bluebird sings up by the garage, and in the woods, a black-throated green warbler. The first tiger swallowtail flutters past.
On the first morning of my married life, the sky is as blue as it gets. Phoebe, rooster, bluebird. The sparkle of frost gives way to sheen.
Clear sky. A bluebird warbling up by the barn. High overhead, a pair of ravens fly close together, uttering their most musical croaks.
Bluebird. Wild turkey. The first phoebe’s soliloquy. Eventually he rounds the house and hovers under the porch roof, bill snapping on a fly.
Cloudless and still. As the thermometer needle inches past freezing, the first bluebird of spring warbles once up by the barn.
Sunny and warm. A bluebird is warbling up by the barn and a song sparrow sings next to the springhouse.
Cool and humid. A chickadee and bluebird perch side by side in the walnut tree before flying down into their respective holes in the stump.
The decrepit stump next to my porch now houses a second nest: chickadees have moved into the hole below the bluebirds. Sun. A distant raven.
Both bluebirds land on top of the stump, look at me, and warble aggressively. In the lily-of-the-valley bed, the bells are fading to brown.
I’d thought the bluebirds’ nest in the stump next to the porch had failed, but no: they just wait till I’m gone to go in. I am their troll.
A box turtle plods across the yard, the markings on its shell as bright as fresh graffiti. A bluebird scratches behind his ear like a dog.
The bluebirds perch side by side on a branch, facing the dead cherry and their hidden, ravenous brood. A fat groundhog runs across the yard.
The woods’ edge is a collage of pastels: just-opened leaves, catkins, maple keys. The old cherry stump chirps like a phone: baby bluebirds.