A Mockingbird’s Song

February came to an end with several days of cold, gray rain, broken by a sunny day or two, then more rain. Today was a chilly, windy, cloudy day, clearing, but the sky still crowded with gray and white, and small patches of blue. Now and then the sun came out, then slipped behind the clouds again.

Few birds were out in the strong, late afternoon wind. A Black Vulture soared, high and fast. Crows flew over and cawed. Lots of Robins and a small flock of Red-winged Blackbirds, with a few European Starlings and a very few Common Grackles fed in one yard, and Yellow-rumped Warblers and Chipping Sparrows in another, all staying close to the ground.

One Northern Mockingbird sang from a perch low in a bush, close to the roadside, the first Mockingbird I’ve heard singing this season.

As I walked along the edge of the old field, head down in the wind this afternoon, I saw mostly only brown, drab, flat weeds and grass, brushed with the soft gold-tan of broomsedge on the edge of the dreary thickets of vines and privet in the field. No sparrows came out today. Instead, along the roadside I passed a blue Bud Lite can, an empty, crumpled package for Camel cigarettes, odd bits of white paper and styrofoam, a plastic water bottle, a thin strip of orange plastic, a white elastic band for a ponytail, another Bud Lite can, some wrinkled cellophane, a piece of faded yellow paper with print on it, another plastic bottle, still half-full of dark soda – and four lush yellow daffodils blooming on tall, drooping stems in a clump of dark-green leaves.

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