Monday, February 14, 2011


The snow seems to have stopped for now. Today is meant to be close to sixty. The layers of ice that coated the streets are reluctantly melting and the piles of icy white are pulling back from lawns and parking lots all around town. Spring daydreams are interrupting my work; I sense March in the gusts of wind that rattle against my office window.

But not to get too far ahead of myself, I saw this barren nest in the low branches of a tree not yet convinced that it is time to send out its foliage. A wise decision, I think, as I listen to the latest weather report. The temperature is going to drop down to the twenties tonight.

This time of year is fickle. Almost as if Mother Nature can’t decide what to wear. I can relate. Winter jacket or fleece? Corduroy or linen? Long sleeves, short sleeves, sweaters, or Tees? And the nest? Will it be occupied by the same mother bird for a new batch of feathered babies or is it truly abandoned, left to fray to pieces over the course of the year?

The shifting of seasons is a time for observation. Here in the northeast, because of being in a geographical place that experiences four seasons, we have plenty of opportunities to contemplate the vagaries of nature, indeed, of our own imaginings. When things stay the same our thoughts tend to as well. Throw in a little snow and the neighbors come out to play. Let spring showers drench the soil and we hunger to plant a vegetable garden. Summer heat sends us to the shore, fall leaves turn us inward.

I think I saw a young cardinal on the feeder this morning. It seems a tad early for fledglings to be about but maybe not, maybe mommy birds are spring-dreaming, too. Are you?

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