Many cold winter mornings, I have sat and watched nature’s rhythms. The sun is slowly rising like embers, starting a flame. Barren trees are gently blowing in the sharp winter winds—squirrels bounding about in their early morning routine. The best part of this movement in the early morning symphony of life is coming and going of the resident birds. First, the Black-Capped Chickadee’s test the morning wind and race to my feeder, take a quick sunflower seed, then dart fast to a nearby bush. Then comes the White-breasted Nuthatch first coming to the cherry tree upon which the feeder hangs slowly observing things for a few moments and then taking the plunge himself and staying at the feeder a second longer than the Chickadee before swooping to cover. Then follows the White-throated Sparrows and Tufted Titmice in splendid order. Soon after that, a few Red-bellied and Downy Woodpeckers gallantly make their way into the breakfast brigade taking far more time on the feeder than their smaller companions. Finally, as the sun has reached its rightful place in the winter sky, the vibrant red Cardinal will bashfully appear in a bush to the left of the feeder and then forage on the ground for any fallen sunflowers. This beautiful rhythm is continued with only slight variations (the addition of a Bluejay, Dove, or Wren) each morning. In watching nature at work, each bird brings me closer to understanding and perhaps even being in time with that rhythm.
Sunlight crept over the mountain,
The air smelled of pine,
Snow encased the landscape,
Like a beautiful white tomb.
Everything was still on a cold morning,
The only sounds were Chickadees chirping softly in the distance,
Gone was warm Summer,
Even cool Autumn had taken her last bow.
Out of that silence,
I could hear a thousand things,
The gentle music of the earth,
The spirit in all things.
Gone were the days of whimsy,
Gentle reflection had passed,
Now in the harsh Winter it came time to realize how it is we can last.
Life’s constant is change,
The icy tomb of Winter always changes to warm Summer,
An angry gray sky can in the blink of an eye erase sunny days,
The wind can go from placidly dancing across the skin,
To battering at the door trying to come in.
Change is nature’s grandest trick,
Beautiful and inspiring,
Can change to violent and harsh,
Only to be replaced by the still silence of the earth once again.
Perhaps our world is like that as well,
When life in its drudgery begins to swell,
And finally, it bursts in relief,
Is that so different than the changing of a leaf?
The energy of these little guys is phenomenal! I love watching them dart around. This one hung out in a bush for a little while, and I was thrilled to have been able to capture this shot. They have such fun personalities, especially in how they interact with one another. Be on the lookout for them throughout the winter months if you are in the Northeast U.S.!