In bright sun, the tulip poplar’s green torch beside a black cherry’s cloud of tiny pink leaves.
Bone-achingly cold. A squirrel navigating the tulip tree walks on the undersides of snowy limbs. Sunrise stains the western ridge blood-red.
Patchy gray sky. A red-breasted nuthatch alights on a tulip tree limb stripped bare by a porcupine, a few bast fibers flapping in the wind.
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.
With so many other trees bare now, the tulip poplars have come into their glory: under a dark sky, columns of softly rustling gold.
A tiger swallowtail flits through the top of the tulip tree, which this year because of the late frost is bare of blooms for the first time.
Overcast and cool. The big tulip tree’s few leaves not damaged by last week’s frost still wave. Beyond the powerline, a wood thrush sings.
The tulip tree’s luminous new leaves flutter against the blue sky in such a way that one can almost see why foresters call it a poplar.
I haven’t seen a porcupine lately, but who else could be debarking the tulip tree’s lower branches? They glow white against the rainy woods.
A break in the rain. In the barberry bush, a titmouse shakes himself all over. A squirrel pauses on a tulip tree limb to scratch his belly.