Sunrise. Trees popping in the cold (11F/-11C). A chickadee adds a rare, third note to his spring song.
Scattered snowflakes like free-range musical notation for scattered chirps—chickadee, nuthatch. A hint of sunrise fading from the clouds.
Overcast and cold. A chickadee foraging at the woods’ edge sings his fee-bee song. A sudden scrabbling of squirrel claws on locust bark.
Steady rain and fog at one degree above freezing: bad luck for our Christmas Bird Count. Over the rain I hear crows, nuthatches, a chickadee.
Patchy frost: the myrtle leaves that are dusted with it versus those that just have white edging. A chickadee is getting the gang together.
Warmish. The sun almost emerges through thinning clouds, heralded by chickadees foraging high in the black birches at the edge of the woods.
Overcast and cold. Juncos fight over patches of dirt scraped bare by the snow plow. A chickadee investigates the undersides of branches.
An unfeasibly large number of chickadees foraging along the woods’ edge, calling, singing, dangling from black birch twigs like mutant fruit.
Cloud cover riddled with blue holes, though the sun remains hidden. From beside the springhouse, a higher-pitched, thinner chickadee call.
Cold with a clearing wind. The now nearly leafless lilac fills with juncos and chickadees. Nuthatches on adjacent trees exchange notes.
The bird feeder’s up; chickadees rejoice. One pauses to wipe its bill on a bare branch. A red-breasted nuthatch darts in and out, squeaking.
Fresh snow melting on the porch roof—a curtain of drips. Chickadees’ cheerful calls are the first thing I hear: a good omen, I think.
After hours of rain, woods and meadow are shrink-wrapped in ice. The black birch twigs creak as chickadees land to liberate a few seeds.
Clouds slowly vanish in the blue—like my own puffs of breath, but slower. Chickadees; a nuthatch. The forest floor goes from glow to shine.