Backlit by the rising sun for the first time since early May, when the forest behind it leafed out, the old French lilac looks newly green.
The green alien at the center of my view—the sprawling old lilac—has at last begun to yellow. The wingbeats of a crow break the silence.
Bright and warm. A squirrel in the lilac drops to the ground for a quick roll, as if scratching an itch. A fat fly moves into the shade.
Sunny and cold. The intense green of the lilac’s new leaves against the brown woods moves me almost to tears. A blue-headed vireo sings.
In the fog and mizzle, swelling yellow-green lilac buds are the brightest thing. A single jet goes over in all the time I sit outside.
Pulling my hat down against the sun, I glimpse a brown creeper on the dark side of a trunk. Every breeze strips more leaves from the lilac.
-5°C. The wilted and faded lilac leaves have acquired mold-like coats of frost. A white-breasted nuthatch’s nasal two notes.
Squirrels sound the predator alarm, and a song sparrow in the lilac stays motionless for minutes, until I’m half-convinced it’s just a burl.
The remains of last night’s ice drip from the trees. A fine lacework of lilac shadow rocks back and forth beside the broken old dog statue.
Truly an autumn snow: eight inches with a topping of fallen oak leaves. In the green and brown lilac, a house finch’s purple breast.