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.
The sun going in and out of clouds—a chickadee’s shadow vanishes half-way across the yard. I’m struggling to remember the color green.
A cold, gray morning. Up in the woods, a chickadee’s two-note song prompts a cardinal to join in. The sun’s hiding place begins to glow.
Christmas Bird Count! Crow, junco, white-throated sparrow. Three chickadees, two nuthatches and a cardinal. Nothing in the damn pear tree.
A nuthatch and chickadee gadding about together, poking into everything. Nuthatch flies past my nose; chickadee balks and circles the house.
A foraging chickadee gives the lilac twigs a thorough grooming. I shut my eyes against the sun and see its white prints all over my retina.
Fresh from drinking out of the cold stream, a chickadee swipes its bill rapidly against a twig, then goes to join the others in the birches.
In the midst of a near white-out, a crow caws, and the chickadees keep twittering. I shake snow from a tissue to blow my nose.
Sunlight softened by high clouds. A great stillness, punctuated by the flutter of sparrow wings and a chickadee singing its spring song.
The croak of a raven followed by a tree popping in the cold, loud as a gunshot. A chickadee flits through the branches of a birch, singing.
Sunrise turns the western ridge crimson. Chickadees and titmice flit through the branches, calling, while we stand snapping pictures.
The steady, insidious business of snow. A chickadee lands on a small branch and samples its line of white powder.
The last patch of snow in the yard has shrunk to half the size of a handkerchief. Three chickadees explore the woods’ edge, comparing notes.
It’s raining. The chickadees have fledged and gone, and their hole in the cherry stump seems as empty as a skull’s eye socket.
While the male chickadee calls from the end of a walnut branch, his mate combs the leaves for caterpillars, hovering, hanging upside-down.