Home after a week away, what’s changed? The song sparrows are back, ebullient as ever, and the dead cherry has shed another shaggy limb.
Small rain on an east wind. Swelling buds impart a faint red hue to the woods’ edge, and a song sparrow states the obvious: spring is here.
Cold as it is, the birds seem to avoid the sun. In one shadow, a wren putt-putts. In another, a song sparrow shakes water from his wings.
Sparrows and finches chitter in the half-light. A song sparrow sings beside the springhouse, a sound I haven’t heard here in over a year.
The song sparrow sings at first light—just once, like an alarm going off. Then nothing but the creek’s quiet conversation for 20 minutes.
A wedge of geese, high against the clouds, headed due north: migrants. The first song sparrow of the year breaks into his trademark song.
Cold drizzle. The burble of a song sparrow. A flycatcher of indeterminate species flutters up from the foxtail millet beside the stream.
I keep hearing fragments of song—winter wren, bluebird, song sparrow—and the usual tight flock of siskins in a walnut tree going zzzzzzip.
A song sparrow sings, and suddenly it’s spring again. In the front garden, under browning leaves, the witch hazel dangles spidery blooms.