chickadee

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.

The decrepit stump next to my porch now houses a second nest: chickadees have moved into the hole below the bluebirds. Sun. A distant raven.

Overcast and cool. A chickadee lands on a dead rose bush and sings his minor-key song with a caterpillar dangling from his beak.

Two chickadees inspect the old cherry stump for potential nest holes, tapping, exploring its hollow core. Up on the ridge, a turkey gobbles.

Sunny and warm. A rabbit emerges from its burrow to graze on dead grass. Chickadees singing “fee-bee” are interrupted by an actual phoebe.

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.

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.