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.
Small flakes sting my cheek; ice-bound trees squeak and groan. From the feeder up at my parents’ house, the happy chatter of snowbirds.
Cold and gloomy, but the yard seethes with birds: juncos, cardinals, wren. A hundred yards away, a hawk sits on a limb, bedeviled by crows.
Mesmerized by the snow, after a while I forget that that steady twittering isn’t the sound the flakes make as they fall. It’s just juncos.
The roadside scraped bare by the plow draws all the juncos, foraging and chittering. A house finch lands on a spandrel and glares at me.