February 2008

Sun behind the trees. A chickadee singing its “charee-charup” song—or so it sounds to me, whole layers of meaning hidden from primate ears.

After yesterday’s high winds, the trees have a number of new complaints. 2°F. From up around the feeders, a endless wittering of finches.

Snow. A male cardinal lands in a birch tree, and the woods behind him suddenly seems so much whiter. Finches ride tall weeds to the ground.

Up too early, I’m greeted by a new darkness, the snowpack reduced to a tiny patch on the driveway. The gurgle of water. White noise of wind.

A 30-second downpour, followed by a flash and a rumble. A white-throated sparrow ventures three notes of his allegedly sorrowful song.

I take the measure of the ice storm by ear: no cracks or crashes. The wind-rocked branches sound the way I feel—tired, creaky in the joints.