Spitting rain. A small flock of great tits in the elder, jockeying for a chance at the suet. Below, a quiet robin blends into the dirt.
Overcast. Six pairs of underpants hang on the firethorn—no room on the clothesline. A wood pigeon in the elder tree starts eating leaves.
Four coal tits huddled in the elder tree take turns feeding at the suet balls. Two gardens away, a boy sings a taunting song in Portuguese.
Gusts of wind salted with rain. A bumblebee somehow manages to hold steady, hovering in front of a kerria rose, then going to the elder.
Overcast and cold. A European robin lands on a severed limb-end of the elder and casts a critical eye at the pile of withered branches.
The severely pruned elder tree has one green limb, hidden from the arborist by a rampant kerria. Its covert blossoms draw a few tiny flies.
Sunrise illuminates the hidden rooms of the elder tree. In one, a blackbird grooms, starting the day with the taste of its own feathers.
I carry a dry chair into the drenched garden. Elderberries dot the ground and raindrops dot the elder. A sudden shuffle of woodpigeon wings.
Breezy and cool. A gray down feather floats up and settles on a leaf of the elder tree. A blackbird’s orange beak peeks around the trunk.
The blue tits depart one by one. Empty now, the elder tree pivots gently in the wind. The sound of a hand saw like something breathing.