Birding Notes

Reflections on birds and other wildlife on the edge of a southern woodland

Saturday, February 06, 2010


After an all-day drenching hard, cold rain yesterday, ending in a blustery wind that rattled the branches and wind chimes all night, we awoke to a magical sunrise. The eastern sky was layered in heavy, dark gray clouds with breaks of light. A window of pale light just above the horizon widened and became soft orange, then brighter and deeper orange, red-orange that spread through the clouds like streams. When a shimmering red-gold sun slipped up over the horizon, the sunlight lit the sky and trees as if in a bubble of delicate, clear, rose-yellow light. The air was calm. The gray clouds looked blue. The brown leaves on the oaks hung still. Raindrops glittered with color on the branches. It felt like being inside a sparkling glass globe.

Then the sun slipped further up and the dense, coal-dark bank of clouds closed in again. The magic light disappeared in a breath. The day became heavy, dull and gray again and the wind began to blow. It all had lasted only moments.

Goldfinches mewed from the feeders on the deck below. A Red-bellied Woodpecker called quuuuurrrrr. A little brown Carolina Wren flew to the rail of the balcony outside our windows, tail cocked up high and head pumping up and down assertively, and sang, loud, energetic and bold.


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