6:37 a.m. 45 degrees, wind NNW 3 mph, the ideal morning for a sharp-shinned
hawk to leave for Cape May. Sky: part hoary mackerel, part clear; Venus and
the old moon, horns up, in the east. Intermittent streams: a resurrection,
visually and audibly, more babble than lyric. Permanent streams: speaking
in tongues, flowing in ripples, a current to be proud of. Wetlands:
yesterday's rain, today's fog; straw tones of marsh beneath layered mist:
mid-band chowder-thick and infused with peach; elsewhere, thin and
transparent. Pond: a screen of mist rises and drifts east, above a still
surface (except for an aberrant tadpole up for a swim). Fresh leaves on the
road: mostly big-toothed and quaking aspen, lemon yellow; a few maples, red
and sugar; red oak, rust-colored and tough as leather. Every branch hung
with raindrops, strings of jeweled reflections, each an inverted landscape.
Upside down, the dogs and I inhabit every drop.
Getting up before dawn has advantages. A pair of barred owls call back and
forth across the valley, one close by, the other beyond the pond. Hoots and
caterwauls unmask an awakening world, push back the veil of darkness.
Yesterday, Casey and Becky voted absentee in Colorado. On the ballot:
proposition 114 (STATUTORY). The state votes on whether or not to implement
a plan to reintroduce wolves west of the continental divide. So far, wolves
lead 2-0. Go wolves. Why does the Northeast wait? Too many deer. Too many
beavers. Too many wild turkeys. Not enough moose. Too many cases of Lyme
disease. Wolves could help, and besides, their voices would hijack the
night. Even the owls would approve. Rewild my neighborhood . . . please.
A world in celebration. Birds hemorrhage sound, make up for yesterday's
washout, an air of jubilation: a mile-long chorus of robins, nuthatches,
chickadees, titmice, woodpeckers, jays, crows, ravens, juncos, sparrows,
and kinglets. Chattering, peeping, chipping, deeing, cawing, screaming,
screeching, zeeing, kvetching, croaking, rattling, tapping, laughing, from
the deepest baritone (ravens) to the highest soprano (kinglets). Every
movement of every bird jostles raindrops, a bird-induced drizzle. Red
squirrels sound like an Abbott and Costello windup alarm clocks, the ones
with bells on the side . . . that annoying
*get-out-of-bed-and-get-dressed *rattle. A
maple stub along the road eviscerated by a pileated, chips skirt the trunk.
Below the barn, sunlight brushes the crowns of aspen, a descent of buttery