No frost yet, but the woods’ edge is riddled with fresh chinks of sky. The squeaky rattle of a winter wren as it pops out of the weeds.
Sun floods the treetops. A red-tailed hawk glides in and lands with a thump. In the dark lilac, a tiny winter wren bustles about.
In the cold rain, a winter wren forages in the mud beside the creek, chirping excitedly and bobbing up and down on spring-loaded legs.
In the steady rain, a winter wren sings his summer song at the woods’ edge; on a log over the creek; in the heart of the gold-budded lilac.
Half an hour till sunrise. Over the brassy din of the dooryard birds, from off in the fog, the soft, wandering warble of a winter wren.
Many small birds chasing and gleaning. An old fall webworm tent hanging from a walnut tree gets a thorough going-over from a winter wren.
Four gray squirrels interrupt their chasing to scold the feral cat—a Two Minutes’ Hate. In the corner of my eye, the zip of a winter wren.
A Carolina wren trills from the springhouse attic window, and a winter wren answers from under a pile of brush with ten seconds of song.
White sky, weak sun, a hollow knocking from the quarry. A winter wren holds forth below the old corrall, rambling, introspective.
I keep hearing fragments of song—winter wren, bluebird, song sparrow—and the usual tight flock of siskins in a walnut tree going zzzzzzip.