I am blocking on common bird calls—with each sneeze I forget another name. Behind the trees, the sky is white and gold, blue and gray.
The stream this morning is full of auguries, such as: “If you want to be master of all you survey, live in a ravine.” Carolina wren song.
Chickadees and nuthatches are exchanging news, each in its own language as always. I’m watching snow, but hearing the hiss of sleet.
The birds eating seeds on the back steps of the other house all fly at once, the rush of wings like a dovetail shuffle of cards.
Christmas—the quietest morning of the year. The stream is a full chorus. A pileated woodpecker flaps overhead, cheering itself on.
Cold and windy. A chickadee’s two-note spring song echoes off the ridge. Behind the trees, floating above the horizon, one yellow cloud.
Thick fog at dawn, gray against the snow. Slate-colored juncos call back and forth: Where are you? A wind comes up.
Yakety-yak on the porch, dee dee dee in the birches, and everywhere a drip drip drip drip drip: gray solstice morning.
The sun behind a wash of cirrus seems almost approachable: a bonfire, the eye of a wolf. All the small birds of winter calling at once.
Distant sound of a rasp on wood: the porcupine’s last meal of the night. In the springhouse lawn, the silhouette of a cat taking a shit.