Two degrees above freezing, with the sun reduced to a bright smudge by a thin wash of cloud. Juncos and a nuthatch forage at the woods’ edge.
It’s snowing: fine flakes wet enough to cling to the smallest twigs and give each bergamot stalk a tall white hat. Juncos twitter hosannas.
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.
So much song from a single robin perched 80 feet up in a black locust! Down below, juncos comb through the prone stiltgrass for seeds.
A lull in the snowfall and the yard is alive with juncos, hopping around each clump of dried grass, gleaning their second breakfast.
Overcast. A strong smell of sewage from the treatment plant two miles away. Juncos forage in the dead stiltgrass, chirping back and forth.
With birds, a cold and overcast day isn’t gloomy. Their bright chirps and taps. The flashes of white when slate-colored juncos take wing.
Juncos’ soft whistles. A white-throated sparrow’s melancholy song. The joyful shrieks of our neighbors’ four-year-old grandchildren.
The snow has gone slushy, turning the hollow from a soundproof room into an echo chamber. Over the traffic noise, a junco’s cadenza.
The wind has died; it’s zero. Through my balaclava and hood I can hear the excited chirps of juncos on the plowed road foraging for grit.
An almost unearthly calm, punctuated as ever by birds: woodpeckers, counter-singing wrens, a flock of juncos drinking from the dark stream.
The trees are turning silver and beginning to droop with the weight of freezing rain. A few juncos, undaunted, are bathing in the stream.
Where the stream fans out beside the springhouse, birds hop down the snowbanks and into the water to bathe: sparrows, juncos, Carolina wren.
Five inches of wet snow like an April Fool’s prank that came a few hours late. The juncos at the bird feeder can twitter about nothing else.