Cool but not quite as clear, with a thin, high scrim of clouds and the incessant beeping of quarry trucks, to which a migrant phoebe briefly responds.
Gray sky ten minutes after a flaming sunrise. A phoebe calls for old times’ sake. Quarry trucks rumble through the gap.
Overcast and cool. A phoebe calls a few times from beyond the spring house and falls silent. As if in mockery, a pewee’s slower, more lilting response.
Clear and cool at sunrise. A phoebe’s bill snaps on a slow cranefly. From high overhead, the tolling of a bell soon turns into raven croaks.
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.