Out in time for the tail end of the dawn chorus: field sparrow, red-eyed vireo, pewee, goldfinches, catbird. No more wood thrushes, alas.
Venus in the dawn sky. Phoebe, field sparrow, wood pewee. The alarm-snorts of a deer.
Overcast and still. A field sparrow’s accelerating note. A turkey hunter and his wife, led by their dog, carry a tree stand into the woods.
The temperature’s back below freezing—the price we pay for such an achingly blue sky. Up by the garage, a field sparrow’s accelerating chant.
Overcast. The first milky-white peony is open, facing the road where a sparrow struggles to swallow a large green caterpillar.
A field sparrow fresh from bathing and a hummingbird fresh from fighting sit two feet apart on a walnut branch, shaking their feathers.
Faint sunlight. A gnatcatcher’s nasal notes against the background noise of field sparrows. My mother calls to come look at a dead mole.
Holes in the clouds by late morning. Field sparrows trill almost non-stop. My mother says she can smell my coffee way up in the woods.
Overcast. A field sparrow’s ascending note. In the dead grass below the stone wall, an otherwise motionless garter snake tastes the air.
A kestrel lands on a limb at the woods’ edge, looks around and flies off, skimming the ground. The field sparrow barely pauses his song.