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.
Six nuthatches—parents and fledglings—scour the trees from top to bottom, soft calls communicating who knows what instructive tidbits.
Clear and cold at sunrise. A nuthatch on the dark side of the tall tulip poplar reverses course and ascends into the sunlit crown.
Snow in progress: curtains that fall and fall until they become the show itself. A nuthatch like a prompter—its anxious calls.
Where the fresh snow has just melted on the concrete walkway, a bright green blush of lichen. The nuthatch’s three nasal notes.
Sun through a skim of clouds. A nuthatch and a downy woodpecker trade anxious, nasal notes between the faint shadows of the trees.
Sunny and cold. A nuthatch lands on the dead cherry and begins a close inspection of the limbs, dapper as an accountant in his gray suit.