Snow sky. Sparrows move through the meadow. A squirrel climbs a witch hazel, seemingly to verify that its pods have expelled all their seeds.
Cool and clear. The witch hazel in front of the living room window, which I haven’t gotten around to pruning out, is already turning gold.
Clear and still. The witch hazel in the garden has just opened its first blooms, spidery petals a far purer yellow than the curling leaves.
Cold rain. A song sparrow sings sotto voce from beside the stream. In the front garden, one last, late blossom glimmers on the witch hazel.
Buds have burst on the witch hazel, leaf-pairs clasped together as if in prayer. Dimly visible in the fog: a crowd of mayapple umbrellas.
Another foggy morning. Beneath the orange leaves of the witch hazel in my garden, yellow blossoms are beginning to let down their wild hair.
The all-night rain has stripped the leaves off the witch hazel, revealing the flowers, some clutching raindrops in their pale skinny petals.
The red porch floor is pocked with yellowish green pollen. In the garden, a red crabapple petal is plastered to a witch hazel leaf.
Parallel bands—old contrails—score the northeast sky. In the front garden, I spot a mantis egg case sparkling high in the witch hazel.
The witch hazel beside the house is yellow with old leaves and new flowers. Chickadees forage along the woods’ edge—wistful two-note songs.
Up in the woods, one witch hazel has already leafed out—a green flame. The rumble of a pickup approaching then failing to appear.
A hard frost softens the edges of leaves and blades of grass. The witch hazel blossoms beside the house have curled into woolly fists.
Spots of red in the garden: old leaves on the evening primroses, new leaves on the witch hazel, which seems to be having a prolonged spring.
I pick the last few unsplit witch hazel nuts in my garden, hoping I can witness their famed explosions. I line them up on top of my monitor.