SOLC Day 7: Dark-eyed juncos

March 2022 SOLC–Day 7
A huge thank you to Two Writing Teachers for all that they do to create an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write, learn, share and grow.

Recently I wrote about how birds save me time and again. When life is stressful, when I feel my calm fracturing, I often take time to watch the birds. I also get great pleasure from watching them whenever I have lumps of time that haven’t already been carved into minutes of obligations. In other words, I tuck quite a bit of bird viewing into my weekends.

Yesterday morning I stood before the window watching the dark-eyed juncos move about the winter architecture of the garden. It struck me that they’ll be leaving soon. Signs of spring are subtle in March, but they’re here: The sun is warmer, maple trees have been tapped and the red-winged blackbirds are slowly populating the marshes.

Watching and appreciating the winter-visiting juncos inspired this poem:

On the pleasure of having juncos in the garden

On this slow-to-brighten morning
the juncos stutter-hop atop the snow
between the dried stalks
of last summer’s garden.

As winter melts into spring
they will gradually slip away.
Like disappearing traces of snow,
one day they’ll all have simply

As seasons cycle and fall fades
their return will brighten
winter’s darkening days
enlivening again the dried stalks
whose summer green
they never saw.

©Molly Hogan, draft

dark-eyed junco

13 thoughts on “SOLC Day 7: Dark-eyed juncos

  1. Especially love the melancholy of those last two lines. Such a wonderful poem. I do understand about watching birds to relieve stress and take your mind off other things!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Bird watching is the best 🙂 It hadn’t struck me before that the winter birds, like the juncos enjoy an entirely different garden experience than the summer ones.


  2. Book Dragon says:

    We don’t have juncos where I live. It is robins that are the harbinger of Spring.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. margaretsmn says:

    I love the photo you found. Those snow hopping birds are adorable. And I love their name, junco. Thanks for teaching me about a new bird. Bird watching is a hobby I’d like to cultivate someday.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. maryleehahn says:

    Hooray for the juncos! Ours are already gone, but we have redwing blackbirds ko-ka-REE-ing in the neighborhood wetland to replace them!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Like Margaret, I’d like to cultivate more bird watching as a hobby. I don’t know anything about juncos and enjoyed reading this introduction. I loved the sounds at play in the second line of the poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. kd0602 says:

    I love seeing your world bird by bird. So many birds I don’t know–but get a glimpse through your words and images.

    Liked by 1 person

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