March 2015

Two A-10 aircraft roar over; I get a glimpse of the nearer one through the trees. A dove flees on whistling wings. A vulture keeps circling.

Cold with low rain clouds at dawn. Over the noise from I-99, the nasal mating calls of that shoreless shorebird, the American woodcock.

Clear and cold at dawn. Nothing but the sound of water gurgling in the spring until, at length, the first distant bird call: song sparrow.

A dusting of snow. Three song sparrows are trying to out-sing each other, and the tall black locust at the woods’ edge creaks with ice.

Could that be thunder? The sun struggles to shine. On the flattened grass where snow sat until yesterday, a scatter of black walnut husks.

In an interval between cold rain showers, the sky brightens, until the remnant snowbanks begin to glow. A chickadee pivots atop a stump.

A fresh dusting of snow. I close my eyes to listen the birds: song sparrow, bluebird, chickadee, a white-throated sparrow’s wavering song.