Cold and gloomy, but the yard seethes with birds: juncos, cardinals, wren. A hundred yards away, a hawk sits on a limb, bedeviled by crows.
Another wintry morning, and I’m marveling at the sharpness of the air in my lungs, the sun in my face, the blue sky, the cardinal’s song.
As the sunlight advances, the frosted yard turns from glitter to glisten. The barn-red cardinal’s inexplicably cheerful two-note tune.
Snowstorm. A cardinal sits atop a small tree, his red plumage almost glowing among the white branches. Two woodpeckers tap in and of sync.
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.