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.
The lilac leaves have faded and folded into a thousand variations on an origami wing, bird or bat or moth, ready for their one big flight.
Sun floods the treetops. A red-tailed hawk glides in and lands with a thump. In the dark lilac, a tiny winter wren bustles about.
Back to sweater weather. The catbird in the French lilac has found a mate—they’re hopping around apparently evaluating nesting material.