Posted by: atowhee | January 22, 2022


Soft green tassels now adorn the outer twigs of the hazelnuts
Along the creek smaller green tassels hang off the end of alder branches
Crow sound as they report what they see, often with critical review appended
Near the creek a Great Blue Heron lifts up from the tiny stream
Then that slender, plumed outline can be seen high in a bare walnut

Buds have begun to open, bright green, on the currants
At the top of the hill, a trio of outlines on bare branches
Small round head
Broad, slumping shoulders
Tapered lower body ending in sharp-pointed tail
Not far from those Mourning Doves a different outline

An arched back tapering down to a blunt trail,
A sharp beak projected from a head on a
Muscular neck—vertical against an upper tiny trunk
forty feet above ground—the flicker’s comfort zone against the sky
Even the day seems to have a portent of “next”
Of more daylight, more and more green
Louder chorus frogs chorusing
The natural symmetry of nature as she comes around again

How do they roost? Here’s the summary from “Birds of the World”:
Usually in flocks but will roost singly. Select trees with large lateral branches regardless of species.  M. g. silvestris generally roost wherever night overtakes them, usually in conifers in the south, hardwoods in the north.

So a few evenings back the dog and I were in the park after sunset and the local turkey flock were up into the walnuts. That’s where their day ended.

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