Between Seasons

I had hoped spring would chase winter’s gloom into memory, but it hasn’t yet. Instead there are all these photos of hunger and snow, dating back to October.

Warbler Oct 28

Warbler Jan 15

Cedar Waxwing Jan 15

Tufted Titmouse Jan 29

Squirrel Jan 16

Squirrel Jan 16

Squirrel Jan 29

Dove and Finch Jan 29

Snow Jan 29

Snow Jan 29

Woodpecker Jan 29

House Finch Jan 29

Along with hunger and snow, this winter brought weeks of numbing cold.

Doves Jan 29

Cardinal Jan 29

Squirrel Jan 16

I was glad I had left the bird houses hanging because I saw chickadees retreating into them at nightfall.

Chickadee Dec 30

It’s not that winter was completely cheerless. The yard had a few winter blooms, and there were certainly days of sunshine.

Honeysuckle Jan 1

Paperwhites Jan 2

Warbler Oct 29

But I’m ready for spring. Real spring, with hours on end of warmth and nest building and bird song.

Squirrel Jan 15

I can’t be the only one who is fretful and impatient. Maybe that’s why it seems as if spring is embarrassed to be arriving so late.¬†Instead of rushing in with thunder and rain-scented gusts, spring is edging into the yard like a guilty ticket holder who overslept and missed the opening scene. Bees are sluggish, the irises and pear tree bloomed while I wasn’t looking, and the house stays chilly despite bright sunshine and open windows.

Bee March

Irises April 5

Pear Tree April 5

I suppose I’ll be complaining about the heat, before too long, and wishing for a cool draft in the house. Because summer always follows, and fall after it. And then there will come a day, sometime in early September, when I will wish for winter. But for now all of my wishes are focused on spring.

More Photos from Huntsville

It appears that Hurricane Sandy might delay my return plans, which means I might have a few more days to visit family and chase birds…

A Week of Travel

I’m in Alabama this week, visiting family. The yards here are busy with birds and squirrels, and the windows are bright with changing leaves. It all makes me as happy as a basking cat.

(I would love some help identifying the unfamiliar woodpecker, above. Is it a juvenile Yellow-bellied Sapsucker?)

First Landing State Park, October 11

I woke this morning with the urge to make an audio recording of frog song. Nature seldom cooperates, when my plans are that specific, and today was no exception. Yesterday, one of the park’s small ponds was a cacophony of harsh croaks and lyrical trills. Today it was mostly silent. Here’s why:

So I have no audio to share. Instead I have sunlight and woodpeckers…

Red-bellied Woodpecker Nest

In June of last year, I happened upon a pair of red-bellied woodpeckers toiling to feed their raucous young. The parents visited the nest in turns, each arrival heralded by peals of plaintive screeching from the insatiable nestling. As I watched the parents flit from tree to tree, probing bark with sharp eyes and beaks, I wondered at their dedication. Is it love that moves them to such labor? Or couldn’t it, at least, be called love?

After all, who wouldn’t love a face like this?