Cloudy and cool. I’m still mulling over yesterday’s funeral. From the back of the house, the dull thumps of a towhee attacking its reflection.
Half awake at half-light. The dawn chorus starts promptly at 5:00 with field sparrow and towhee, then song sparrow, phoebe, robin. Train horn.
Sunrise inches forward, chirp by chirp: towhee, white-throated sparrow. A rabbit gazes at me from the end of the porch with eyes dark as cisterns.
Sunrise hidden by clouds. Towhee and cardinal’s usual soliloquies. A mosquito sings her need into my ear.
5:15. A sliver of a moon with its dark bulk faintly illuminated by earthshine. Highway noise picks up. A towhee starts to tweet.
The sun feels as if it has no business being out on such a quiet morning. A towhee sings a truncated version of his song: just “Your tea!”
A mid-morning pause in the rain. The towhee attacks a catbird gathering dead grass under the lilac, driving it off, then sings in triumph.
Goldfinches, scarlet tanager, great-crested flycatcher, catbird, towhee… no composer, no conductor. All music needs is a listener.
Two male towhees displaying at each other with what looks almost like affection. A brown thrasher’s one-bird echo chamber. The smell of rain.
The brassy singers of open spaces take it in turns: robin, cardinal, towhee. But I am ready for shade and the whispery songs of warblers.
Fat snowflakes fall on the daffodils’ down-turned cups, while a towhee chants—according to the time-worn birders’ mnemonic—Drink! Drink!
The towhee interrupts his window-tapping to attend to fledglings in the tall grass. Tree sparrows in the garden trill as they mate.
Light rain. The towhee who usually taps on the windows appears in the garden with a long yellow caterpillar dangling from his bill.
Hummingbirds fight each other; a towhee fights his reflection in the living room window. The sky is as blue and empty as it gets.