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.
The cloud ceiling—as meteorologists call it—grows thin, judging by the sun’s intensifying glow. Agitated song sparrows chirp back and forth.
Deer came in the night and dug up half the yard to get at the evergreen myrtle. Sun pours down from a cloudless sky. A song sparrow sings.
I take off my hat to sunbathe as icicles drop, turning the roof toothless. The brass section tunes up: jay, cardinal, song sparrow.