6:24 a.m. 50 degrees, wind E 2 mph. Sky: a C*hicken Little *morning, clouds
and fog united, visibility dissolves, dawn stretches, blue jay has nothing
to say. The ambiguities of the morning. Permanent streams: a pair of rocky
crevices curling down the eastern rim, water withdrawal, an unfinished
flow, dampened volume. Wetlands: dim and quiet. Pond: unrippled and
austere, marginalia littered with milkweed seeds. Mergansers elsewhere.
Connecticut? New Jersey?
AOR: six slugs, slow-motion migration, head west. One leaves a crooked
A wraithlike deer walks through crisp leaves. Dogs' attention ratchets.
Leashes tighten. Deer runs across road, tail up . . . all hell breaks loose.
The internal rhythm of the morning: sleepy. The merriment of chickadees . .
. always. Downy woodpecker, a faint avian telegraph. Two hairy woodpeckers,
unseen, call, loudly and sharply, fog-piercing notes. Red-breasted
nuthatches less prominent, white-breasted more prominent. Two titmice
calling in the hardwoods, a clear, two-part whistle like an amped-up spring
peeper, far less common than chickadees, their trusted associates.
Yesterday afternoon, out of the northwest, circling above the woodland
canopy, a red-tailed hawk. Back and forth. Around and around. An adult,
rust-red tail teasing the breeze. Eventually, the hawk gathers itself into
a teardrop, tail pinched, wings against flank, and pours south, over
pastures and marsh, from bird to dot in less time than it took to write
Last Saturday evening, at sunset, while I sat in a chair around a
half-finished firepit in Pomfret, a barred owl flew from a telephone pole,
over the driveway, across the front yard, directly overhead. In silence and
in silhouette, long wings rose up and back like a mobile on a string. Like
the bird decor that hung above Jordan's crib, flapping in the lamplight as
I pulled on the string. Jordan's fledged now, seeking opportunities . . .
without a string of my own to pull, I watched an owl in flux, on long, soft
wings, in soft evening light. The journeys of birds and boys are *not* so
different. . . everybody has to eat.