Before March marches away

How beautiful is the murmur of a cluster sparrows crowded in a shrub. I often pause to listen. I also try to see them, the so many of them, seems like hundreds of voices at one time. Usually I only can glimpse 10 or 20. Somehow they become the branches, twigs, and last year’s brown and this year’s deep green leaves. Hundreds and they are mostly only voices confusing my scanning eyes, delighting my attendant ears.

How beautiful is the roof peak song of a robin; the tree top trill of a house sparrow, and a competing purple sparrow; the clear, high in the maple song of a cardinal. How exciting is the first of the season pronounced song of a song sparrow; the crik crik awwwk, weezoo of a redwing blackbird; the sweet phoebe of a chickadee, who has spent the winter chattering and scolding; the alto and alternately accented phoebe of an eastern phoebe.

The mourning doves pick up the frequency of their moans. The mockingbird has added at least seven more mimics to its repertoire. The goldfinch chuckles as it flits branch to branch, tree to tree. The nuthatch notifies me that it is zooming into its target. The downy woodpecker kind of chortles as it bobs from branch to branch. I imagine the titmouse balancing sturdily while calling teeter teeter teeter. The blue jay’s call is lost in the raucous ruckus.

How ominous is the red tail hawk’s creeeeel; the rush of the cooper’s wings through the underbrush; the grackle’s crackle; the visible music of seven vultures wheeling above our streets, our tallest trees, our ominous office towers.

A near susurration of starlings briefly disrupts the cloudless blue sky light.

I ask you to envision these things. I am providing no photographs for them. I know you can. In some combination, some accumulation, they are our neighbors, whether we live deep urbanly, semiurbanly, suburbanly, rurally. They thrive with us and despite us. They are another of the gifts on this place called earth, in this case the place on earth called eastern Massachusetts.

But I provide this photograph. I happened upon this pair just walking along during one of my meanders.

I don’t know. I’m pretty sure they’re raccoons. They were a golden brown in my line of vision. But I have seen a picture of a brown skunk. But!! Do skunks nest up in trees? I think not. I’m going with raccoons.

As I am sitting here, the wind is picking up, clouds are moving in. Oh dear. I had intended on another walk today, with a goal in mind. But after a cup of coffee (which is brewing as I type right now). Not sure the weather will be so patient. Perhaps I will put my coffee in a to-go cup, I have plenty!! You know, when the legs want to walk, how can the head say no?

Maybe I’ll just put in a row of arugula seeds. And a row of pea seeds. It’s almost April. Why not?

Author: Kate Hemenway

I like to explore, to observe. I like to be within what is around. There is always something to wonder about and to ponder. There is always something.. My favorite ways to get to places are bicycling and walking; or reading, or thinking, or asking. Please feel free to ask back, as I continue to wonder out loud, express joy or concern, or, sometimes, talk through my hat.

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