Foggy at dawn. When I open the door, a Carolina wren zips out of the old hornets’ nest under the porch roof and disappears into the lilac.
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.
Titmouse, chickadee, wren. I squint into the sun. The bitter wind rattles the cover of the magazine beside me—which, I notice, is Rattle.
Two degrees above freezing and I feel over-dressed. Icicles drop from the eaves. A Carolina wren sings his “tea kettle” song in a minor key.
Cat tracks in the snow disappear under the house. The Carolina wrens have survived another cold snap; will they be killed in their sleep?
Another brutally cold morning. From somewhere under the house where the heating ducts run, the trilling of a Carolina wren.
Christmas has come like a vengeful spirit, roaring on the ridgetop, plastering the weather sides of trees with snow. A Carolina wren’s song.