I woke up this morning listening for Robins. They usually return to My Little Farm in Town March 1—give or take a day. I usually hear them for a few days before I see them. My sister in East Texas watches them flock and fly away. I listen for their return.
As I lay in bed this morning, I heard hairy and downy woodpeckers, cardinals, and our murder of crows, the sentinel crow alerting the rest. The blue jays made their usual squeaking garden gate cry.
I’m waiting for the morning I hear the robin break the silence first.
That is the thing about winter in this part of the world. You know it is coming when the birds fall quiet. Even the ones that stay the winter have different conversations. It allows you to hear other sounds. We have eleven mature evergreens bordering our lot and a half, so I listen to the sea sound of them all winter as I walk out to take care of the girls each morning and evening. I hear the dry scraping of blowing snow mix with the little begging noises the chickens make when I go out to collect eggs midday.
Living in town there is always the noise of cars, dogs, and the highway when the wind is out of the south or west. I like the days best when the wind blows from the north.
Even though the north wind is colder, it blows away the highway noise. In the spring, it brings the sound of tractors and the smell of dairy (manure)—and the calls of robins sheltering by the lake in the wooded valley below my neighborhood.
Are you listening? Begonia.