March 2014

On a bright morning, I can almost forget how many of the laurel bushes shining in the sun are sick and dying. A titmouse’s monotonous call.

A dry ticking of junco alarm calls from all directions. A small hawk—Cooper’s or sharp-shinned—hurtles between the snow-plastered trees.

A rodent face appears in the mouth of the old flicker hole in the elm snag. It watches me for a while before fading back into the darkness.

The grass darkened by rain in the wee hours. Two crows gad about like a human couple united by their harsh disapproval of the same things.

A second male phoebe has returned. Their warring warbles echo off the hillside at sunrise, interspersed with a cowbird’s liquid notes.

A solid gray sky marred only by the sun’s blurred searchlight. It’s cold. From all directions, the anxious-sounding calls of woodpeckers.