Back to more typical March weather, gloomy and cold. The stream gurgles low, the wren gurgles high, and two crows wing their way in silence to a breakfast of bones.
Deep blue sky; blindingly white ground. A crow lands at the woods’ edge and clears its throat. A Cooper’s hawk flutters off like a fast moth.
A crow and a Carolina wren takes turns issuing three-beat calls, as if debating: CawCawCaw. TeakettleTeakettleTeakettle. It starts to rain.
With crows about, a raven skulks through the pines, talking with its mate in sotto voce rattles. They fly over the porch with labored wingbeats.
The first flakes, fine as flour, from a dull gray sky: far edge of the predicted blizzard. A silent crow flies over. A woodpecker knocks.
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.
In the half hour it takes the first red cloud to become a sunrise, every crow in the area has a suggestion. Even a distant rooster weighs in.
Clouds with blue veins and sunrise bellies. Two nuthatches trade harangues. A crow summons other crows to—I’m guessing—a fresh gut pile.
The streamside barberry is orange as a hunter’s cap. A crow silhouetted against the sunrise swipes its bill on the branch as if sharpening a knife.
Under low, heavy clouds, the air is still. I listen for the patter of raindrops but all I hear is a nuthatch, some crows, a raven’s croak.
Cold with no wind; the few, small snowflakes float almost straight down. In the almost sunshine, a lone crow is trying to stir things up.
Yet another clear, still morning. The light-drenched forest of almost-winter. Outraged crows answering the raven’s chant with their own.
The green alien at the center of my view—the sprawling old lilac—has at last begun to yellow. The wingbeats of a crow break the silence.
A sharp-shinned hawk chases a crow; the crow flies off. The hawk chases a jay; the jay chases back. What fun! thinks the jay. I’m hungry! thinks the hawk.