Within the moon’s crescent, its dark bulk is aglow—a reminder that Earth is still, somehow, a source of light. A towhee calls twice and goes back to sleep.
Half an hour before sunrise, the goldenrod is already aglow. Venus and Jupiter fade into a cloudless sky. Towhees begin to tweet.
A mosquito sings her dark need into my ear. Day advances like a slow machine of squeaking towhees and whirring wrens.
Fog at first light. The random percussion of rain dripping off the trees slowly joined by bird calls: pewee, towhee, song sparrow, wren…
Three degrees below freezing, but no frost. The dawn chorus seems reduced in volume, though the towhees and one tom turkey aren’t holding back.
A towhee sings from the woods’ edge as the eastern sky brightens: Drink your, drink your, drink your… I raise my tea in salute.
Cloudy and cool. I’m still mulling over yesterday’s funeral. From the back of the house, the dull thumps of a towhee attacking its reflection.
Half awake at half-light. The dawn chorus starts promptly at 5:00 with field sparrow and towhee, then song sparrow, phoebe, robin. Train horn.
Sunrise inches forward, chirp by chirp: towhee, white-throated sparrow. A rabbit gazes at me from the end of the porch with eyes dark as cisterns.
Sunrise hidden by clouds. Towhee and cardinal’s usual soliloquies. A mosquito sings her need into my ear.
5:15. A sliver of a moon with its dark bulk faintly illuminated by earthshine. Highway noise picks up. A towhee starts to tweet.
The sun feels as if it has no business being out on such a quiet morning. A towhee sings a truncated version of his song: just “Your tea!”
A mid-morning pause in the rain. The towhee attacks a catbird gathering dead grass under the lilac, driving it off, then sings in triumph.
Goldfinches, scarlet tanager, great-crested flycatcher, catbird, towhee… no composer, no conductor. All music needs is a listener.