Warm sun and an inversion layer bringing traffic noise from over the ridge. Cardinals and titmice compete with the whine of truck tires.
I take off my hat to sunbathe as icicles drop, turning the roof toothless. The brass section tunes up: jay, cardinal, song sparrow.
Four inches of wet snow clinging to every branch is almost all shaken down in one great blast of wind. The cardinal never stops singing.
The usual bird calls—cardinal, titmouse, red-bellied woodpecker—but something seems off. It’s the clouds, coming from the wrong direction.
Male cardinals bathe side-by-side in the stream, then resume chasing. A jay perches in a dogwood bush shaking the water from his wings.
A female cardinal gleans seeds from a false buckwheat vine, dangling upside-down, fluttering in mid-air—as acrobatic as any chickadee.
Fog gives way to mid-morning haze. The neighbors’ rooster doesn’t so much crow as moan. I listen to cardinal song and imagine it’s February.
The hole in the dead elm is emitting puffs of dust: a flicker cleans house. Just beyond: scarlet tanager! Then the cardinal’s humdrum red.
Snowstorm. Two male cardinals meet on a white branch and stare at each other. A third red crest flashes in the woods: pileated woodpecker.
Very cold (-20C). A locust tree with ice in its joints creaks and bangs in the wind. Through a hat and two hoods I hear a cardinal singing.