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.
I get up to pick the ripe berries on the spicebush in my garden. Allspice aroma wafts up from the red drupes as I pinch them off the twigs.
The spicebush is a haze of yellow beyond the springhouse. Another too-warm morning. What will be left of spring by warbler time?