First morning of a predicted heat wave: leaves turn backwards in a warm wind. A cardinal sings “purty purty purty” in a Southern accent.
Male and female cardinal meet beak-to-beak in the middle of the driveway. He sings, she gives him a seed or bit of grit, and they fly off.
When I stop to admire the red columbine in my garden, a female cardinal bursts from the cedar tree, her half-built nest inches from my ear.
Cardinal song followed by gargling laughter: a starling sits at the top of a locust, its bill a gleaming needle in the deep blue sky.
Sun shining through thin clouds and wind-blown snow. A great wave of happiness sweeps past. In the barberry bush, a cardinal begins to sing.
1°F. A breeze feels as sharp as the studded rim of the sun rising through the trees. The call of a cardinal like an engine trying to start.
Snow whitening the lilac. And here come the cardinals to pose photogenically in the midst of it: loud and obvious red; subtle tan and ochre.
The dawn chorus begins just as it does in January: with cardinal song. High above the atmosphere, a satellite catches the first rays of sun.
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.