It’s just two degrees above freezing, but after days of cold, I feel overdressed. Juncos twitter softly by the springhouse. Raindrops begin tapping on the porch roof.
The best way to summon a hummingbird, it seems, is with another hummingbird: as soon as one appears, there’s another to fight with it. A deer sneezes behind the springhouse.
First morning back after vacation, the setting moon is somehow already full. A fox sparrow sings beside the old springhouse. Up in the woods, the first blue-headed vireo tunes up.
Another perfect morning. A wood thrush is singing next to the springhouse. The surrealism of it all when distilled into memory come December.
Cold and gray. A commotion of wings by the springhouse where breakfast eludes a Cooper’s hawk. He sits in the crabapple ruffling his feathers.
Full moon gone in, I feel snowflakes on my face, their almost clinical touch. The sound of a train. The springhouse roof turning white.
A Carolina wren heralds the dawn from atop the springhouse roof, his mate counter-singing—as ornithologists call her answering Shhhhhh!
The rain stops but the trees go on dripping. The sky brightens. Through newly bare spicebush branches, I can see the springhouse once again.
In thin fog, the soft notes of juncos and white-throated sparrows taking their morning baths in the shelter of a dogwood beside the springhouse.
Snow is gone from the north side of the springhouse roof; the stream has a whole new range of notes. Up by the barn, a phoebe is calling.
Cloud cover riddled with blue holes, though the sun remains hidden. From beside the springhouse, a higher-pitched, thinner chickadee call.
The tulip tree next to the springhouse is nearly bare, its last few leaves waving like four-fingered cartoon hands as the sky darkens to rain.
Soft sun. Birds flit through the weeds beside the springhouse. A white-throated sparrow sings just the first, wavery note of his song.
Rain and fog. Gray-green lichen glows on tree trunks in the woods and on every twisted branch of the old crabapple beside the springhouse.