Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Mist and All

The day hangs suspended in the mist.

“There is no such thing as an empty space or an empty time.
There is always something to see, something to hear.
In fact, try as we may to make a silence, we cannot.”
- John Cage Through the drizzle comes the call of the Canada geese as they move out to open water. Then the rousing call of a flock of eight to ten crows making their early morning tour of their territory before settling in to their day’s routine.

Most of the day’s activities are taking place at the bird feeders. The thistle feeders are filled from top to bottom with American Goldfinches. Seeds on the railing provide a landing field where takeoffs and landings are as busy as at Kennedy Airport. An inquisitive acrobat, the black-capped chickadee is a favored entertainer. They are becoming so tame that we keep thinking of sitting out on the deck to see if they will begin eating out of our hands. Next at the feeders is a tufted titmouse. Before the titmouse can crack open his seed the white-breasted nuthatch lands and clears away all competitors before carefully picking over all the seeds and choosing a plump sunflower seed. The gray squirrels don’t seem to bother the birds and they certainly ignore the competition and antics of the other small creatures coming in to the feeders.

The long window feeder and the suet feeders are attracting downy, hairy and red-breasted woodpeckers along with the nuthatches, chickadees and titmice.

Just barely visible through the fog, a bald eagle glides down to the Delaware River where the fishing is much better this year than up along the dam.

Juncos and morning doves are working the ground under every feeder. Today they have competition in the form of a hungry chipmunk and now and then one of my favorite visitors a small red squirrel.

The Cooper’s Hawk is thwarted again. He comes through the clearing in a long swooping dive, missing his prey and simply climbs into the air again, headed off to look for less alert and wary birds for breakfast.

Working head down, the red-breasted nuthatch circles the white pine searching for insects that have bundled down warm and snug in cracks under the bark.

There are not many cardinals coming to the feeders this winter, I wonder where they are. We have only three males and two females. In years past I have seen a cardinal at one of the feeders nearly every time I glanced out the window.

The pileated woodpeckers hammering rings through the clearing sounding like a jackhammer in the still air.

The woods at the backside of the house are perpetual motion with pine siskins joining the busy chickadees, juncos, titmice and goldfinches. Here and there I can spot the tiny golden-crowned kinglet chattering to its friends as it flits through the treetops.

The Carolina Wren is noted for its loud song, popularly rendered as "teakettle-teakettle-teakettle". Both male and female birds sing.

The Mist and All
I like the fall,
The mist and all.
I like the night owl's
Lonely call -
And wailing sound
Of wind around.
I like the gray
November day,
And bare, dead boughs
That coldly sway
Against my pane.
I like the rain.
I like to sit
And laugh at it -
And tend
My cozy fire a bit.
I like the fall -
The mist and all.
---Dixie Wilson

1 Comments:

Blogger phymoff said...

Trying to make me jealous again? You mention all these birds, when all I can see are GRACKLES, White-winged doves and English sparrows.
One AM there were close to a hundred or more great-tailed Grackles and bronzed grackles out in our back yard. Most of them were on the ground pecking at something. Frozen sowbugs? Grass seeds? Couldn't think of anything else that could attract them. It was a black morning!!
Less than a half hour later - not a single feather! Like the earth opened them up and swallowed them! (Goodie!!!) They are so full of themselves, strutting so importantly, with their heads and beaks up in the air. You'd think theywould fall over their own big feet! (and you wish they would!)
John thinks they're funny and special. He ENJOYS them!!!
I enjoy your ENDMENT!!
Phymoff

8:06 PM  

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