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.
Two song sparrows in a singing contest under dark clouds. I try to hear urgency and seriousness in their bubbly notes as the sky opens up.
I have to wipe the fog off my chair before I can sit. After a while, it begins to rain. In the dead meadow weeds, a commentary of sparrows.
At mid-morning, a low, heavy cloud ceiling that muffles sound. The first snowflakes wander in, accompanied by a song sparrow’s jaunty tune.
Sunny and warm. A bluebird is warbling up by the barn and a song sparrow sings next to the springhouse.
Cold rain. A song sparrow sings sotto voce from beside the stream. In the front garden, one last, late blossom glimmers on the witch hazel.
Between bitter gusts of wind, I hear the calls of juncos and nuthatches, chickadees and titmice, a song sparrow singing in the ditch.
Clear and cold at dawn. Nothing but the sound of water gurgling in the spring until, at length, the first distant bird call: song sparrow.
A dusting of snow. Three song sparrows are trying to out-sing each other, and the tall black locust at the woods’ edge creaks with ice.