Tag Archives: wildlife

This winter’s day

You do not have the flu. The cat is not sick, nor the dog lost. The bitter cold has not burst the pipes. The firewood is dry enough to catch the perfect flame thrown by the ordinary wonder of a rough-struck match. The small, wild things — plumed, delicate — fly hollow-boned to the feeders […]

National Squirrel Appreciation Day

Really. This gallery of images goes out to squirrels everywhere whose beauty, acrobatics, comic timing, perseverance, adaptability and fabulous tails continue to impress and delight any human with sense enough to appreciate them. Most especially,  I remember Chloe, whose intelligence and charming sense of entitlement graced my life for five years and inspired this prose […]

Mary Oliver is dazzled by heaven

So I got up finally, with a grief worthy of you, and went home. Just over the threshold, she cannot move quickly or carefully enough. Oh, what is that beautiful thing that just happened? On ageless legs, the last word she heard with mortal ears still sounding: Come. The angels themselves weary of our meanness, […]

The world’s most perfect couple

She lays herself out on the slow current, neck extended, orange paddles holding her steady as he circles, bobbing his shimmering head, then climbs aboard, mates, nibbles briefly her elegant nape, dismounts and circles once more, fast — an exhilaration, an exuberance — exhausting his fletched desire before settling beside her on the bank, resting […]

Fraternity now, and football

At the end of the rut, the bucks grow weary, great heads bowed beneath battle-worn racks, here and there a desultory joust, a soft grunt cast in diminishing wind toward indifferent does. What was it all about? Majesty tattered, they plod and limp, half-dazed as if emerging from a potent spell, speak to former rivals […]

For the bear who broke my fence

As you ready, you trouble our leavings: the forgotten feeder, the spilled seed. Your hunger accretes in the dark autumn air. Urgent. Insatiable. Hyperphagia, the scientists say. You say eat. You say drink. As you ready, you dream cubs from the world of spirit, from the world of ancestors. You dream their tiny bodies blind […]

One shot

                 

Nearly enough

I like the sound of my phone not ringing, the stillness of my door unknocked. I like the invitations I do not receive, the peaceful hollow of my empty mailbox. Unsolicited for any response, I offer none. Now, I have nearly enough time. The hummingbird feeder needs sugar water; the nuthatches, more seed. If not […]

By and by

We dwell in the land of broken things, of completeness fragmented, degerminated and stripped, then inadequately enriched. You know what I mean. They will have to do, the world’s compensations. We will never be more whole than we were at birth, bawling and bathed in our mothers’ labors, eyes wide but unable to focus, to […]

When you can

If you could, you would feed the birds of Kyiv, of Mariupol, the pipits and larks, the warblers and wagtails lost in the suffocating skies over scorched trees in which they once slept and nested. If you could, you would shelter the martens and voles, the hares and dormice who fled cratered homes, the incendiary […]