The dead are restless, through no fault of their own: last year’s leaves shuffled about by the wind. But the sun is strong. A phoebe calls.
The big dead elm has collapsed into the stream, its rain-slick bole broken in two places. A drenched phoebe hawks insects in the grass.
Rain from a named storm seems special, like strands of hair from someone famous. Two spring peepers are calling, and faintly, the phoebe.
A phoebe lands on a branch and flicks his tail, not fooled by the passing resemblance of scattered, zigzagging snowflakes to flying insects.
On the first morning of my married life, the sky is as blue as it gets. Phoebe, rooster, bluebird. The sparkle of frost gives way to sheen.
On a hillside once again nearly snow-free, the fog withdraws, advances and surrounds like the subtlest of foes. A phoebe’s insistent song.
A phoebe perches on the edge of the porch, only to get dive-bombed by a gnatcatcher. Relax, my friends! There are enough flies for everyone.
Deer follow their long-legged shadows through the trees. Three phoebes chase through the branches and three chipmunks through the leaf duff.
A pair of phoebes flutter under the porch eaves, see me and the dog and retreat to a nearby branch. The first daffodils nod in the breeze.
Bluebird. Wild turkey. The first phoebe’s soliloquy. Eventually he rounds the house and hovers under the porch roof, bill snapping on a fly.