A titmouse lands on a snowy branch and puffs out the white down on its breast. From above the spring, a chickadee’s two-note song: hey ho.
Clear and cold at sunrise, with gusts of wind and a roaring up on the ridge. Chickadees like yard-sale shoppers darting from find to find.
In the darkness and fog, the sound of slush being punctured and scraped aside. I can just make out the solid shadows, their many thin legs.
Freezing rain. A black birch sapling suddenly bows its head. As the temperature climbs, branches begin to shed their heavy decorations.
Sleet to rain to sleet to rain: the tapping on the roof above my head keeps changing pitch. Faint notes of chickadees, titmice, a nuthatch.
Cloudy and cold, but the chickadees, titmice, juncos and finches are carrying on as if they were seeing these trees for the very first time.
The moon inches upward through the trees with the earth’s glowing shadow between its horns. Two train whistles converge, one high, one low.
Cold, gray, and windy, with a new half-inch of snow. The only flicker of warmth is a chickadee’s call—the pilot light in a stone-cold oven.
Four chickadees glean frozen bugs from one skinny branch of the dead elm. Through newly porous trees, a 30-second glimpse of the rising sun.
Sun behind the trees. A chickadee singing its “charee-charup” song—or so it sounds to me, whole layers of meaning hidden from primate ears.