Cool and quiet, once all the newly arrived night travelers have stopped chirping. Patches of blue sky appear. A goldfinch twitters half-heartedly.
It’s raining and I’m mesmerized by the radar map, its blue and purple blobs. When the downpour begins to abate, the first thing I hear is the twittering of goldfinches.
Nuthatch scolding a gray squirrel, who scratches himself with a hind leg. The rising sun takes its place among the goldfinches.
The sun rising through high-altitude murk isn’t much brighter than the goldfinches chattering in the treetops, less than three hours till the solstice.
Another clear, cold morning with little dew. Goldfinches gad about in the tops of the locusts, seemingly oblivious to other birds’ territorial obsessions.
Thin fog full of goldfinch chatter and turkey gobbling. A rare red squirrel emerges from the woods and zips all around the springhouse.
Frost in the yard. How many tender young leaves will collapse and blacken at the sun’s touch? A goldfinch warbles in the treetops. A raven gargles.
Clear but with atmospheric haze, so the sunlight leaking down the trees looks murky behind the goldfinches’ purer yellow.
A few minutes before sunrise. Goldfinch chatter. A half-slice of moon hangs in the east like an icon of wintry cool.
Cool and clear. An asterisk of thistledown floats by—high time for the goldfinches to be nesting, I think. But they’re still gadding about in the treetops.
Clear and cool. A bright yellow goldfinch circles the yard still in shadow, chattering like a bearer of sunlit news.
Heavily overcast. The patchy yellow of a goldfinch and the spicebush he sits in, grooming his breast feathers.
Moonlight fades but the driveway glows even whiter: a new quarter-inch of snow. The sky is clear. Treetop goldfinches start to chatter.
Mid-morning sun through thin clouds. A wren calls in one direction; goldfinches in another. The yard’s only mullein stalk trembles in the wind.