Under a white sky, the small white car of the meter man, and a heavy frost. Two nuthatches are having a frank exchange of views.
Light snow powdering my black sleeves. I watch a nuthatch inspect each branch of a walnut, its sideways hop and dip when it finds a morsel.
All the most supine stiltgrass has grown white fur in the night. Two nuthatches foraging at the woods’ edge react badly to my sneeze.
A half moon high overhead, fading as the fog rises off the meadow. A nuthatch lands on the dead elm’s smooth trunk and turns all about.
It’s been 20 years since the butternut tree fell over, but I still miss it: the sky too big, too blank, the nuthatch’s call too far away.
The earth is brown again, and the hillside hidden in fog. A one-minute rain shower. Nuthatches chatter. The sun makes a bleary appearance.
Cold and quiet. An argument between nuthatches is picked up and amplified by a pileated woodpecker. The old dog farts in a patch of sun.
Mid-morning and the yard is seething with birds—chickadees, sparrows, juncos, nuthatches, titmice—foraging and singing despite the sleet.
Hard to pin-point the emotions evoked by familiar bird calls, beyond just “blue jay feeling,” “nuthatch feeling,” “goldfinch feeling.”
Sunny and cold. Wind hissing in the tops of the pines. The scattered calls of chickadees and nuthatches foraging at the edge of the woods.