But what I've really been noticing are the birds: a thrush surprising me when I thought it might just be a dead maple leaf skittering across the stone path; little brown wrens, fat even at this time of year, their tails like pinky fingers scribbling at the sky behind a bare branch; creepers pecking at the moss on my Siberian elm. Just now, on my walk up the hill, I felt almost threatened by the breathy whir of the ravens flying over, beaks full of what looked like building material for nests, squabbling with other ravens in a part of the forest I couldn't see. They flew so low, their voices so loud, so menacingly squawky. On the beach, oyster catchers trot, their long curved red bills poke, their shrill whistles pierce a cloudy afternoon. A robin lands on a driftwood log. The ubiquitous seagulls, but more of them, it seems. Rafts of golden eye ducks, the males so crisply black and white that when they turn a certain way I might be seeing the crest of a cranky wave. Herons hunched into their necks. A bald eagle sweeping towards the ferry terminal, wings outstretched on an up draft. Two human friends make sure that their virtually resident hummingbirds can continue to sip from feeders, by taking the feeders in at night so they don't freeze. Ah, birds ...to inspire such reverence.
"Hope is the thing with feather, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words and never stops - at all." Emily Dickinson
"I watch in the morning when I wake up...a blackbird... He seems as if his singing were a sort of talking to himself, or of thinking aloud his strongest thoughts. I wish I was a blackbird, like him."D.H. Lawrence