A dark morning; the ridges disappear into fog. A Carolina wren’s call is barely audible over the rain’s deafening hush.
Fourth-quarter moon just above the trees. The dawn chorus begins with a mourning dove. Then Carolina wren, crows, a red-winged blackbird.
Tentative footsteps at the edge of the porch, first from a gray squirrel, then a Carolina wren, each obviously annoyed by my presence.
This is winter as I remember it from my childhood: more than a foot of drifting snow at 20°F. The Carolina wren is singing under the house.
A few minutes till sunrise; the wren sounds impatient. But the clouds are heavy—overflowing, in fact. It’s light enough now to see the flakes.
A partly sunny sky turns to gloom—the reverse of my mental state as caffeine kicks in. The wren’s call begins to sound less agitated than jubilant.
Solstice. The porch is littered with scraps of paper from the old hornets’ nest—a prized spot for wrens to spend long winter nights.
Weak sunlight — enough to melt the hard frost, make the ground glisten, conjure up a bit of mist and a Carolina wren’s hearty burble.
Gray snow clouds with a brief peephole for the sun. As flakes swirl down, snowbirds swirl up into the trees, egged on by a Carolina wren.
Dawn. Two wrens rustle awake inside the old hornets’ nest. A doe and her nearly grown fawn graze in the yard.
Three Carolina wrens kvetching on and on in the heat. Up in the woods, a Cooper’s hawk chatters twice. Could they be nesting again?
Cold rain getting harder. The Carolina wren’s “tea kettle” call never seemed more appropriate. The catbird lisps and buzzes like a warbler.
Another cold, overcast day. Daffodils and forsythia begin to grate with their unrelenting yellows. Even the Carolina wren sounds querulous.
Rain past, the hollow is full of birds. Fast moving clouds. A Carolina wren sings exultantly through a high gust of wind.