Mist turns into drizzle. A small, filmy-winged fly drifts back and forth across the yard, heedless as a texting teen. A goldfinch monologue.
The continual, three-syllable chatter of goldfinches. Wild garlic stalks have begun to straighten and the heads to shed their white masks.
The humidity has dropped at last. A goldfinch lands on a stalk of purple bergamot, bobbing in the breeze like an extra, yellow flower.
Clear and cold. The continual, waxy chatter of goldfinches, their plumage now a patchwork of winter’s dull green and summer’s crayon yellow.
Now that thistles are going to seed, the goldfinches are nesting at last. Two males chase—streaks of crayon-yellow through the treetops.
Fragments of vireo and goldfinch song mingle with the rain’s thunderous applause. A few filmy-winged insects still somehow manage to fly.
The sky is clearing, the low-angled, mid-morning sun illuminating the woods for minutes at a time. Finches in the birches. A distant raven.
Bitter cold; even the sun looks brittle. I savor the silence, broken only by goldfinch warble and the scattered calls of robins.
Warmer and overcast. The silhouettes of small birds feeding gregariously in the top of a black birch—goldfinches, I realize when they fly.
It looks like rain, it smells like rain, but the morning passes without a drop. The goldfinches carry on being garrulous. A tree frog calls.