chickadee

A burst of activity at the top of one of the tall locusts: chickadees scold, a phoebe catches gnats, and other birds sit shining in the sun.

Warm sun, cold wind. Three chickadees make noise in the lilac’s flaming green limbs. The shadow of a vulture glides slowly across the yard.

A half inch of snow—just enough to make the ground mirror the flat-white sky. A chickadee sings his two-note, minor-key song.

My ears are still adjusting to the lack of urban noise. Crow, chickadee, red-bellied woodpecker. The stream’s slow gurgle under the yard.

Blank white sky. The woods are quiet except for an occasional chickadee. From over at the neighbors’, the labored putting of an old engine.

Cool and humid. A chickadee and bluebird perch side by side in the walnut tree before flying down into their respective holes in the stump.