Slow trickle of water in the ditch. Weak sun. My mom stops by to talk about logging and politics, and how the old field is full of sparrows.
Down in the old corral, a song sparrow sings the first part of his song and stops, twice. The cronk of a raven flying just below the sun.
Squirrels sound the predator alarm, and a song sparrow in the lilac stays motionless for minutes, until I’m half-convinced it’s just a burl.
Cold air, bright sun. A song sparrow in the barberry bush sings continuously for nearly a minute—manic in a way I’ve never heard before.
Overcast. A song sparrow’s song. Chipmunks break their habitual solitude to dash across the hard snowpack, fighting, looking for mates.
As bright as the sun seems, shining through thin cloud, there are almost no shadows. A song sparrow sits in a spicebush, looking all around.
Last night’s ice has melted, but the rain continues. A song sparrow sits in the barberry bush, gorging, emitting a chirp after each berry.
Where the stream fans out beside the springhouse, birds hop down the snowbanks and into the water to bathe: sparrows, juncos, Carolina wren.
Cold as a well under a deep blue sky torn by the distant roar of military jets. The morning singers carry on: cardinal, song sparrow, robin.
Two clouds cross, a high one going north and a low one going south—a sight so odd it feels like an omen, until the song sparrow sings.