When the mid-morning rain eases up, the phoebe comes out to hawk for gnats, and I hear the first wood thrush singing—those pure, sad notes.
A cerulean warbler sings at the woods’ edge, the same urgent, rising notes that woke me an hour earlier. But still no wood thrush.
A wood thrush fledgling lands on the lower bar of the fretwork spandrel, breast feathers disheveled, eyerings imparting a look of surprise.
Dawn. As light grows, more and more shades of green and gold emerge from the forest shadows. Bell-like notes of the first wood thrush.
Dawn: the soft wickering of a wood thrush. Three hours later: chipmunks’ incessant hammers. A tiny blue wasp explores the sunlit railing.
Dawn. A migrant wood thrush flits from branch to branch along the edge of the woods. In the yard, a grown fawn nuzzles its mother’s neck.
Whither the thrush whose ethereal notes woke me at dawn? A male towhee flies up to a sunlit branch and takes a shit, singing.
Wood thrush and cardinal song. A male hummingbird chases a silver-spotted skipper off the beebalm, then retreats to a dead branch to preen.
Wood thrush, cerulean warbler, red-eyed vireo, Baltimore oriole—song by song I tick them off as yellow petals fall from the tulip tree.
Each glaucous leaf of the bleeding-heart has rolled its rain into one fat bead. I’m wondering: where have all the wood thrushes gone?