A 30-second rain. I count nine shades of green, all circled by a cardinal in his flame-colored cap. The daffodils once again stand erect.
Sunrise reddens the western ridge and its whine of traffic. Cardinal song. With my last sip of tea, the sun strikes my face.
Yesterday’s snow glitters between the shadows of trees. To the winter-long harangues of cardinal, titmouse and Carolina wren, add one phoebe.
A leaden sky at sunrise, but an hour later, the sun glimmers through thinning clouds. Cardinal and titmouse song. The smell of bare dirt.
The fog slowly lifts, except where it’s been trapped by funnel spider webs. The cardinal’s cheer seems a bit misplaced.
Cardinal joined by a whippoorwill. The white shapes in the yard turn out to be snakeroot.
Sunrise hidden by clouds. Towhee and cardinal’s usual soliloquies. A mosquito sings her need into my ear.
Downpour. An ant abandons its dead caterpillar. An earthworm dangles from a cardinal’s bill.
The brassy singers of open spaces take it in turns: robin, cardinal, towhee. But I am ready for shade and the whispery songs of warblers.
Dawn. A phoebe and a cardinal are singing in the rain. At the woods’ edge, the last patch of snow has shrunk to the size of a hubcap.
Cardinal song from the woods’ edge, but where’s the cardinal? Leaving the porch, I spot him—in a yard tree. I’d been listening to the echo.
The snowstorm over, it’s quiet, except for the wind. A cardinal shelters in a barberry bush, as red as the berries had been.
Seven cardinals—three pairs and a lone male—take turns drinking from the stream, then perch in the lilac’s bare branches, four feet apart.
Cloudy and cold. A cardinal perched in the lilac sings softly, barely opening his beak. The sound of a freight train laboring up the valley.