An hour past sunrise, an opossum is out hunting earthworms pushed out of their burrows by the all-night rain. She keeps pausing to raise her snout and sniff the air like a connoisseur.

Gentle rain. The intense green of new leaves everywhere but inside the ring of fencing around a tulip tree that appeared in my yard during the pandemic like a blessing. Its buds show no sign they’ll ever open again. I don’t know why.

Cloudless at sunrise, with rain still clinging to the grass. Tree leaves are on average half open now, making the woods’ edge half screen, half wall.

In the pre-dawn darkness, nothing but the sounds of rain and water. A low rumbling comes from the hole in my yard that leads down to the stream just before it emerges into a spring.