SOLC Day 7: Dark-eyed juncos

March 2022 SOLC–Day 7
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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