Monday, February 2, 2009


I stepped outside last week and noticed a was very, very quiet, in an eerie sort of way. We live high on a hill, surrounded by ravines full of hardwoods, quiet ponds, and lots of noise....bird noise that is. In the winter there are chickadees, woodpeckers, finches, blue jays, and in the summer the robins and orioles , and cardinals add to the chorus. I walk out in the morning to do chores, and the birds are chattering away on the tops of the naked trees, gossiping I suppose, uncaring that I am listening down below. But now, you can even hear the leafless branches crack under the cold, and ....nothing. Bird feeders are full, water dish crusted with ice on the sides, looking like a margarita glass edged in salt. Even the persnickety red squirrels are no where to be seen....and there is nothing to be heard. This went on for some days, and then while looking out the bedroom window one morning....I saw the a motionless figure on a broken branch, regal, calm, dressed in a blue gray cape and a black mask surrounding his eyes. It was the Zoro of birdland, only instead of the cold cutting edge of a sword, there was the curving beak of distruction, watching every move of every small woodland creature with nary a sign of remorse. This stately creature had come for a visit, probably attracted by the numbers of birds at the feeders, and had never before been seen in this area . It was a strikingly beautiful Shrike, with the patience of a Jobe, watching, waiting, for his next morsel of food. His visit to this part of woodline, created a aura of silence, as he sat there, patiently, watching, never stirring, for the next brave creature to fly into the arena to steal a sunflower seed or dip into the bird bath for a drink. Suddenly, like in the movies, there was a flash of grey, a flurry of snow, and a vole had stolen his last black seed, I watched as the Shrike flew away to his own private dining room, successful in his query, till the next venture. He stayed for about a week or so, and then one brite sunny morning, there was music in the air again, birds crowded around the feeders, and bird bath....and he was gone just as silently as he came. It was another chapter of the wilderness closed for the season, waiting, silently, quietly to be opened again.


  1. How beautifully you wrote that post. It was as if I was there. I hope you will continue writing posts like these - We lived on a lovely acreage east of the Rocky mountains, and the song birds were so wonderful. I especially loved the little chickadees which sang all day. We had a great grey owl, that used to come around at dusk and usually one of our squirrels would be his dinner. We also had a mother Moose that visited over the winter while we were in Arizona, and each year she had a new calf. One of them grew to
    full size - we called him Little Joe, we knew him as he had a cream ruff along his neck. He visited our acreage each year. Such a wonderful life, I miss it. I love your blog. Shirley

  2. Shirley
    You have some wonderful moments to remember....sometimes it gets pretty lonely around writing is one of my outlets. Thank you for your encouragement.

  3. see freinds
    black shadows
    no sounds
    resonating spirits
    vibrating grounds
    understand purpose
    life sustaining
    dance of flight
    all the winds
    all their might
    accept freedom
    witness on wing
    without them nothing

  4. Hi Alleycat, good to see you aboard, love the poem