Dull mid-morning light—the threadbare snowpack is brighter than the clouds. A titmouse sounds the predator alarm and a squirrel cleaning off a walnut climbs a few feet higher into the lilac.
Cold rain. Four chickadees in a high-speed chase around the yard pause in the lilac for a vociferous exchange of views.
Cold sunrise. The green hippogriff of a lilac just starting to yellow. Dry leaves whispering of deer in heat.
Dawn. Clouds glow with the lights from town. The great bulk of the lilac against the dark woods, trembling in the wind.
Cloudy with a 100% chance of warblers. A wood thrush gets a drink from the stream and resumes singing. The smell of lilacs.
White lilac blooming in the rain. A hummingbird buzzes my propped-up boots, his crimson gorget the brightest thing in the hollow.
Another cold, clear morning. As the sun moves off the lilac it illuminates a small witch hazel up in the woods—that pale green fire of new life.
Five degrees below freezing. The lilac leaves are already big enough to show their backs to the wind. Four white narcissuses bob and sway.
Birdcalls echo off an icy snowpack for maybe the last time this spring. Backlit by the sun, the lilac glows intensely green against the snow.
The sun eases out of the clouds. A gnatcatcher is flying sorties from atop the lilac, which has just burst its buds.
Crystal-clear. Treetops stained with sun. A gray squirrel pours itself into the lilac. The creek’s full-throated chorus.
Snow on the ground and in the air. When the wind eddies around to the east, a great flock of shriveled leaves lifts off from the lilac.
Flakes in the air. The lilac leaves hold on, faded and stiff. And with my brown clothes and dark red hat, I suddenly realize I match the oaks.
On a dark morning, fall colors that seemed bland yesterday are bright embers. Behind the still-green lilac, a deer’s pale legs.