A gray day. My fever broken, I notice that the red maple down along the woods’ edge that had blossomed too soon two weeks ago is bare again.
The first, small, maple samaras are spinning down out of the gray sky. I’m startled when one seems to rise: a same-sized insect.
A blush of blossoms on the ancient red maple, one of my most important teachers when I was young and learning to climb—on branches now gone.
Gloomy, but the birds seem excited, perhaps sensing an approaching storm. A titmouse fleeing a fight lands on a maple limb red with fungus.
The top of a dying red maple has been blown down across my walk. The wind raises a zombie army of leaves to go staggering over the snow.
Warmish and almost sunny, with mist between the trees. The chickadees and wrens are denouncing something hidden in the small hollow maple.
With birches and maples at the woods’ edge all bare, I can see unimpeded up the hillside to small clouds lost among the trees and the rain.
A swarm of maple helicopters. I sneeze and a wren begins to sing. A kinglet rotates in time to the music. We’re in this dance together.
This spring is—let’s be honest—not spring-loaded. Eurasian shrubs haven’t begun to green up. Even the red maple buds have yet to swell.
A monarch butterfly en route to Mexico glides over the house, past the orange leaves on the last living branch of a hollow maple.