A ray of sun strikes the lilac, setting its yellow buds aglow. The sound of water gurgling under my yard. The back-and-forth of nuthatches.
Under low, heavy clouds, the air is still. I listen for the patter of raindrops but all I hear is a nuthatch, some crows, a raven’s croak.
Fine snow begins to fall. A squirrel is leaping through the treetops as if on some other white powder. Wakening nuthatches compare notes.
Half-way through a slow snowstorm. The birds seem restless. First a titmouse, then a nuthatch land on the edge of the porch to tell me off.
The last small cloud melts away. A white-breasted nuthatch calling: such an anxious sound, but who knows? Perhaps it’s a song of exultation.
Cold and glittery. The stream has subsided to a quiet gurgle, and the nuthatch’s response to his tree is more of a comment than a question.
Cold with a clearing wind. The now nearly leafless lilac fills with juncos and chickadees. Nuthatches on adjacent trees exchange notes.
Cold and gray. A downy woodpecker forages in the road, joined by a nuthatch, seemingly curious about this stony alternative to a tree trunk.
Thick fog: soundproofing against all but the closest chirps. A nuthatch descends a locust trunk, does an about-face, and scuttles back up.
A white-breasted nuthatch is barely audible over the whine of tires from the interstate. Two jet contrails form an X just above the sun.