Garden Diary - February 2009

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Saturday, 21 February 2009

The Birds

I don't know. What do you think? Hundreds seems like an underestimation.
They were on both sides of the road. Grackles gleaning in the cut-over corn field
that had long since been combined. Grackles strutting in the grass on the other side
of the road foraging for seeds. Their feathers glossy black and brilliant in the sunshine.
A stuttering clamor of wing beats as they take to the air accompanied by an unmelodious
hoarse cacophony (melodic song not being part of their repertoire, apparently.)
They group together each fall, then migrate south for the winter. And now it is time
to return. We eagerly await robins, and listen for the red-wing blackbirds (a cousin
or some such of the common grackle.) No similar enthusiasm for the grackle.
But on this morning with the color still winter-bleached from the landscape I see
their vibrant swirl as a sign that Spring is on the move with longer days, and grackles.

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