Rain. A red-eyed vireo is calling. My brother the birder tells me that at daybreak there were seven species of sparrows on the garden fence.
A wren calls from the cattails like a deranged cheerleader, while in the woods, a vireo sounds as if it’s barely able to give a damn.
When the neighbors’ rooster finally stops crowing, the incessant singing of the red-eyed vireo seems as hushed as the murmur of a stream.
The crackle of a grackle. The boosterism of a rooster. The incessant cheer of a vireo. My ears take refuge in the creek, that labile Babel.
The warmest morning in weeks. The bracken in my yard that the deer mowed down has raised defiant fists. A red-eyed vireo drones on and on.
Still cool at sunrise. A large beetle zooms past. Faint noise from the highway. The desultory calls of a red-eyed vireo.
Red-eyed vireo, common yellowthroat, indigo bunting: the primary colors of this morning’s diminished chorus. The dog twitches in her sleep.
Fragments of vireo and goldfinch song mingle with the rain’s thunderous applause. A few filmy-winged insects still somehow manage to fly.
Three degrees above freezing. The dead vireo in my garden is perfectly preserved except for its missing eyes—red prizes for ants.
I fail to spot him on the branch or on the wing, this noisy vireo with an insomniac’s eye—a genius at self-effacement and at holding forth.