Dawn comes with an inversion layer, traffic noise half-smothering the scattered notes of thrushes fresh from their night flights.
Half an hour before sunrise, the first migrant wood thrush arrives at the woods’ edge, calling softly. A sneeze gathers in my sinuses.
Rain and fog. A wood thrush sings three times and falls silent. A mourning dove goes on and on.
Cool and crystal-clear. A wood thrush sings as if it’s still nesting season. The western ridge turns red.
Another perfect morning. A wood thrush is singing next to the springhouse. The surrealism of it all when distilled into memory come December.
Everything drips. A wood thrush chases a rival out of the woods and pauses in a spicebush for a look around.
The rain stops and the thrush singing at the woods’ edge is joined by warblers, flycatchers, pewee, thrasher, a hummingbird’s mad courtship flight…
Cloudy with a 100% chance of warblers. A wood thrush gets a drink from the stream and resumes singing. The smell of lilacs.
Spring peeper just after moonset. Then whippoorwill. Wood thrush. Carolina wren. Phoebe. A pileated woodpecker cackles and it’s day.
Mid-morning, and a wood thrush lands in the walnut tree next to the driveway to sing a few bars. A net-winged beetle flies past.
Wet, but at least it’s not raining. Wood thrush, vireo and tanager songs mingle at the woods’ edge. The wingbeats of a catbird.
Cool morning. The melancholy sweetness of a wood thrush song. At the woods’ edge, the small black cherry has gone to bloom.
Agog at the intense green of a deciduous forest at leaf-out in the rain. The soundtrack: wood thrush, red-eyed vireo, least flycatcher.
Overcast and cool. The wood thrushes continue to call well past mid-morning. Beebalms are beginning to flaunt their spiky, scarlet coiffures.