The first bergamots are in bloom, next to the first soapwort. In walnut-tree shade, the permanent shadow of a common yellowthroat’s mask.
Mist in the meadow and among the trees where the first sunbeams look almost solid. Crows, wren, catbird, common yellowthroat.
The yellowthroat’s song is half submerged in noise from the quarry. A heron flies over. I watch my breath drift away toward the east.
Red-eyed vireo, common yellowthroat, indigo bunting: the primary colors of this morning’s diminished chorus. The dog twitches in her sleep.
A masked bird skulks through the lilac: the first common yellowthroat. Clouds gather, and the shadbush blossoms disappear into the sky.
A trembling in the cattails: female yellowthroat. Birds flit through the treetops, smaller than the motes of grit in my ancient binoculars.
An hour past sunrise. The downpour past, a Carolina wren and a common yellowthroat both sing in fast waltz time.
A song so familiar it takes several minutes to register that this is new, the first I’ve heard it since last fall: common yellowthroat.
A male yellowthroat flies from perch to perch without singing. It occurs to me that most of the music in my life wasn’t made for human ears.
The yellowthroat’s witchedywitchedywitchedy woke me at dawn. Now he sits silent on a curved claw of dead elm, insouciant in his black mask.
Another reason not to mow the lawn: a male common yellowthroat feeds a querulous fledgling in the tall grass directly in front of the porch.