Sunday, January 31, 2021

Winter Bird


I saw this northern mockingbird in a cold winter field the other day. It didn't sing a single note which seemed appropriate to the background. Mockingbirds are remarkably vocal at other times of year. They typically sing from February through the summer and again in autumn. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology reports that males may have different sets of songs for spring and fall. The sighting reminded me of the poem, below.

Looking For a Sunset Bird in Winter  

by Robert Frost 

The west was getting out of gold, 
The breath of air had died of cold,  
When shoeing home across the white,  
I thought I saw a bird alight. 
In summer when I passed the place 
I had to stop and lift my face;
A bird with an angelic gift
Was singing in it sweet and swift.
No bird was singing in it now.
A single leaf was on the bough,
And that was all there was to see
In going twice around the tree. 
From my advantage on the hill
I judged that such a crystal chill
Was only adding frost to snow
As gilt to gold that wouldn't show.
A brush had left a crooked stroke 
Of what was either cloud or smoke
From north to south across the blue;
A piercing little star was through. 


I'm looking forward to the return of the mockingbird's song. Click to enlarge.

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