Six degrees above freezing and clear at sunrise. The spicebushes next to the road are at their most luminous yellow. Chipmunks tick like asynchronous clocks.
Everything drips. A wood thrush chases a rival out of the woods and pauses in a spicebush for a look around.
The rain stops but the trees go on dripping. The sky brightens. Through newly bare spicebush branches, I can see the springhouse once again.
Rain and fog. With the goldenrod going gray, the yellow has moved from the meadow to the woods’ edge: spicebush, walnut, birch, elm, tulip tree.
Overcast with 100% chance of yellow: daffodils, forsythia, spicebush. A yellow-bellied sapsucker looking all tapped out.
Two spicebushes side by side, one still bare, the other in full yellow fuzz. Up in the woods, the soft song of the first blue-headed vireo.
As bright as the sun seems, shining through thin cloud, there are almost no shadows. A song sparrow sits in a spicebush, looking all around.
Sun warms the porch; a rising buzz of flies. Each spicebush around the farm is yellowing up on its own schedule, bud to fuzz to frowze.
The big windthrown locust tree is nearly invisible in the high weeds. Out back, an old snake skin flutters from the branches of a spicebush.
Red: berries on a leafless spicebush, gaps between segments of a curled-up black caterpillar, paint on the porch floor lifting like leaves.
A downy woodpecker in the spicebush hangs from a silk moth cocoon, trying to reach the pupa, but the soft stuff defeats her hammer and nail.
It’s cloudy, but the forest understorey glows with autumn color. A phoebe hawks flies from the spicebush, gurgling with satisfaction.
At the woods’ edge, a jumble of bone-white sticks: spicebush branches debarked by rabbits. A gray blur where a titmouse grooms in the lilac.
Around the side of the house, a male goldfinch gorges on spicebush berries—silent for once, as if unwilling to share his find.