SOLC Day 14: Meditating on Juncos


March 2020 SOLC–Day 14
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At this time of year, they’re here every morning, always the first birds to appear in the garden. In the dim morning light, I see them first as shadows, hopping about on the ground. As the light grows, I watch them fly up to the wisteria arbor and perch. In flight, their hidden white tail feathers flash dramatically.

As is so often true, the coloring of the males is starker, more dramatic. Slate grey on top and white below. The line between grey and white is so clear, it reminds me of darkened tree trunks limned by a windy snowfall. I often take them for granted, these daily visitors, but today I sit and watch. Meditating on juncos.

As I watch, I realize there aren’t as many here today. One junco lingers beneath the platform feeder. It hops about through the pick-up-stick garden debris, then flies away, flashing white. Another lands and then progresses in a meandering path over the brick walkway and into the garden, stopping every so often to peck at the ground. Several swoop in, forage a bit under the feeders, then fly off again.

Now the garden is quiet. Not a single junco in sight. They’ll be heading north soon. Perhaps the migration has already started.


I decide to sit and hope they return, then watch them a bit more–to enjoy them while they’re still here.

How is it that so often we don’t appreciate something until it’s almost gone?  

16 thoughts on “SOLC Day 14: Meditating on Juncos

  1. Emily Culbertson says:

    Your word choice is so descriptive, and flows easily. I especially like the “pick-up sticks garden debris”! That picture of the bird is gorgeous, and I don’t even like birds. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. lrimkunas says:

    They are so cute! I like how you wrote what you observation and your gratitude for these visitors. I would tell my students you observed with a writer´s eye. I just love the sound of the birds as a harbinger to spring.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. cvarsalona says:

    Molly, the photo is clear in the foreground and blurry in the back. That is a difficult effect to achieve but you did a marvelous job. I have never heard of this bird nor seen one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      They are the most common bird at our feeders in the winter. I love seeing them in the snow–the grey and white really pops! I think technically they’re called dark-eyed juncos.


  4. What a peaceful morning to watch these birds! Never heard of them. So cute! Love the coloring! It is so true about not appreciating things till they are gone. We need to reverse that!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tim Gels says:

    I love the, “As I watch” paragraph–it feels like I’m right there. I love watching birds in my own back yard.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. kd0602 says:

    Just the right piece to take my mind from daily troubles to a peaceful meditation on juncos. Your photo is beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. mgminer says:

    Lovely. Just what I needed.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. In a sign of hope, Hannah and I spotted two blue birds (love birds really) in our backyard. We are starting to see goldfinches return. We’ll treasure each sighting this spring and beyond.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Lucky you! Bluebirds are a joyful, hopeful sight! We had purple finches at the feeder yesterday. (Well, maybe they were house finches, I can never tell the difference!)


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