6:36 a.m. 54 degrees, wind SSE 2 mph. Sky: waning moon overhead, brightly
embedded in empty immaculately blue; clouds rim the horizon, dusky before
the sun, whitening as dawn bends toward the sunrise, then spreading toward
the zenith; veiled moon fades and sinks by the time I return home.
Permanent streams: whisper. Wetlands: overflows with the rapid-fire voice
of the red-shouldered hawk; less so with mist, thin and low, a subtle
earthy exhalation. Pond: lonesome whirligig beetle scoots on the surface,
swirling the inverted reflection of three airborne crows that land in a
zigzagging pine; an image in turmoil, an upside-down world . . . the
implications and analogies, endless.
Season of the sparrow: song in the raspberries and the hydrangea; Lincoln
along the edge of the road; white-throated everywhere; white-crowned under
the feeder; fox in the lilacs, dull reddish tail in motion; swamp in the
alders; junco in the woods. A seedy landscape in the very best sense of the
Birds eating invasive fruit, sowing invasive seeds: whited-throated sparrow
gorges on honeysuckle berries, bits of red around the white throat, and
yellow lores; robin gorges on blue-black buckthorn berries. An
accomodating array of forbidden fruit. I want the birds to find something
native to eat: a horribly sour wild grape, or a frost-softened crabapple.
Maybe, a sumac berry, dried and fuzzy, like a webworm. I fall short of
my goal. Birds keep their own council. Even with the pandemic and
the President (a pandemic himself), I still have trouble dismissing the
thought of noxious, alien plants spread by cheerful songbirds. In a
discordant world, even the woodland edge in jeopardy.