Each bird I see has something in its beak: wren—a streamer of dried grass, chickadee—a seed, towhee—a bundle of stalks, grackle—a millipede.
I feel it before I see it: in the half-light, the intense green of new leaves. The sound of field sparrows, towhees, spring peepers, rain.
A towhee sits on a high branch at sunrise, his breast puffed out against the cold. His rufous feathers briefly match the color of the ridge.
Most of the maples have dropped their leaves since I was last on the porch, but the towhee’s breast still flickers rust-red in the lilac.
A towhee by the springhouse sings an inverted version of his usual song. The first purple bergamot is in bloom—a court jester’s absurd hat.
Bright and windy. A towhee flies in and out of a multiflora rose bush seemingly without a care, as if it weren’t studded with sharp hooks.
Overcast. The softly glowing reds and yellows, the hum of crickets, even the normally annoying call of a towhee all inspire nostalgia.
Whither the thrush whose ethereal notes woke me at dawn? A male towhee flies up to a sunlit branch and takes a shit, singing.
An accelerated tapping on the roof—who ordered rain? One bird says Konkerlee, another, Drink your tea. Takes me a second to sort them out.
The thin forsythia at the woods’ edge is in bloom at last. Two towhees battle over territory: rival renditions of the same six-note trill.