Two phoebes in a singing contest at dawn. A warm breeze. The half-moon settles in a tall pine.
Fog and scattered showers. The last few woodcock peents overlap with phoebes—two of them already, trying to out-sing each other.
A dozen dead leaves circle the yard as the clouds’ bellies turn orange. A phoebe calls once, sotto voce, from a branch above the creek.
In the half-light of dawn, something approaches, rustling in the dry leaves: rain. A few minutes later, the first phoebe begins his time-worn chant.
Colors so much warmer than the air. Halfway through the morning, the sky clears. Sun in the treetops. A phoebe calls.
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.