Half awake at half-light. The dawn chorus starts promptly at 5:00 with field sparrow and towhee, then song sparrow, phoebe, robin. Train horn.
Rainy, breezy and intermittently bright. The zigzag flight of a phoebe finding breakfast above the daffodils.
Warm rain. Phoebe and robin drown out the night chant of peepers. All the daffodils’ cups have turned bottoms-up.
Sunnier than promised at mid morning. The singers have slowed—wren, phoebe, field sparrow—as if in dialogue with silence.
Still bitter cold, but the wind has died. Clouds redden. A phoebe snags breakfast from the bark of a tree like a nuthatch.
Sun climbing through the trees into a cloudless sky. A second male phoebe has joined the first, which means three times more phoebeing.
Sun through thin clouds—a milky light. A phoebe is making the rounds, chanting his call at every past nesting spot: barn, shed, garage…
Yesterday’s snow glitters between the shadows of trees. To the winter-long harangues of cardinal, titmouse and Carolina wren, add one phoebe.
Cloudy and warm. A Coopers’s hawk darts through the treetops. From the barnyard, a phoebe’s enthusiastic chant. Raindrops.
The unfamiliar clouds of my breath. A phoebe calling in the sun-drenched crown of a walnut tree, beneath that old slice of apple, the moon.
Venus in the dawn sky. Phoebe, field sparrow, wood pewee. The alarm-snorts of a deer.
Rainy and cold. An indigo bunting and a phoebe clash briefly in the air above the stream and retire to neighboring walnut branches.
A mid-air tangle between a phoebe and a wood pewee ends with the latter calling once from a walnut branch and flying back into the woods.
Dawn. A phoebe and a cardinal are singing in the rain. At the woods’ edge, the last patch of snow has shrunk to the size of a hubcap.