Five nuthatches land in the walnut tree and begin scuttling up and down its trunk in the pouring rain, poking and probing the furrowed bark.
Two nuthatches meet on a branch for a split-second copulation, then fly off to separate tree trunks to resume foraging, tails to the sky.
Four squirrels descend a tree in single file and disperse into the brush. The stream still runs high. A nuthatch rattles his anxiety cup.
The nasal alarm calls of nuthatches, one to the south and one to the north. The sun is a yellow stain on a white tablecloth. A silent raven.
Freezing rain on a bed of sleet: like listening to thousands of pins dropping. A nuthatch ascends a tree head-first like a brown creeper.
Just as bright as yesterday, but warmer. The snow is difficult to look at. I bite into an apple and a nuthatch scolds me for the noise.
The trees seethe with the small birds of winter. Even the cherry stump beside the porch attracts a nuthatch’s thorough investigation.
Goldfinch, nuthatch, catbird, wren. The herb-garden chipmunk, cheeks bulging, pauses on top of the wall to groom its paws.
A jay’s call isn’t harsh, a nuthatch’s isn’t querulous: so hard to hear the music of what happens. Every day some poet dies from the strain.
Overcast and cold. An agitation of nuthatches at the edge of the woods, and somewhere beyond, the thin, high whistle of a tree sparrow.
Nuthatch calls to nuthatch, wren to wren, but the generator roars to nobody. I keep seeing what could be a chipmunk out of the corner of my eye.
January thaw. A nuthatch finds a dead branch so resonant, its probing taps sound as loud as a woodpecker’s, and it flees to a quieter tree.
A nuthatch scolds something at the woods’ edge. A few distant gunshots. You’d never know the hollow is full of hunters sitting in trees.
In one and the same moment, the howl of an accelerating speedbike, a train whistle, and the quiet anxious calling of a nuthatch to its mate.
The fourth-quarter moon is the thinnest of Cheshire-Cat grins among the treetops. Sunrise reddens the western ridge. A nuthatch calls.
Tent caterpillar webs billow, white as sails—still full of the dawn fog. Two nuthatches kvetch back and forth at the woods’ edge.