Strange morning: first a 20-MPH gust of wind out of a clear sky whips the treetops, then the dead cherry beside the porch fills with birds.


  1. Specifically, four eastern phoebes (presumably parents with fledglings), a tufted titmouse, a gray catbird, an eastern towhee, and very breifly joining them, a downy woodpecker, all in a very constrained space. It’s times like this I am especially glad I didn’t cut down what most people would consider an eyesore.

  2. We’re perched on Dave’s dead cherry tree
    We’re singing songs about the summer
    Sunlight filtered through bare branches
    shines on everybody’s feathers

    I’m chirping slow and rhythmic in
    cacaphony of twittering
    I hope my love will hear my voice
    and fly to me and perch beside me
    Hope that she will fine me
    on this dead tree in the sun.

  3. …then the dead cherry beside the porch fills with birds.


    “They also serve who stand and wait.”
    Remember that line? Was it Milton, Stick?

    Huh? Where’s the waiter? Who’s serving?

    Look at that dead cherry tree. Who would
    think the birds would prefer to perch there?

    With this gust, no leaves will slap them!

    Small consolation, but you might be right,
    With perfect foliage, the tree sways faster.

    A wind punch is not as hard on a dead branch.

    Oh, what I’d forgive for the sight of a tree
    With these birds for leaves! But when the
    Wind breaks the tree, won’t they simply fly?

    It’s the first time you said I’m right, milord.

    You’re a dead branch yourself, dear Stick.
    Look how I lean on you, each step I take.

    —Albert B. Casuga

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