March 2013

Where yesterday the hillside was mostly white, now it’s mostly brown, and the dawn chorus is twice as loud with the addition of one robin.

The first phoebe is finally back, chanting his name in the barnyard. Marcescent leaves of a scarlet oak glow orange, back-lit by the sun.

Overcast and cold. An agitation of nuthatches at the edge of the woods, and somewhere beyond, the thin, high whistle of a tree sparrow.

In the mud bowl of the old robin’s nest that the wind blew out of the cedar tree, a fresh dusting of snow. The cardinal’s monotonous chant.

Three pileated woodpeckers work the trees just inside the woods’ edge, inching up trunks and cocking their heads to listen before they tap.

Blue sky, warm sun. Through a curtain of meltwater I watch small birds fly back and forth, silhouetted against the blazing white yard.

Yet again, the world is transformed by new snow clinging to every twig. The Carolina wren pokes his bill out from under the eaves to sing.