Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: Birdsong

Small gifts of grace

On my way to the garage
A small thin cup-like piece
Of bird shell cracked and broken
Rests on our driveway
Beneath the holly tree
Where resident catbirds set up
temporary nesting quarters

Hours later and bone weary
I turn off the engine and hear
The unmistakable notes of a
Lullaby sweet and calming
Borrowed tunes full of grace
Soft and gentle from a catbird
Keeping watch from a nearby tree

I want to be a catbird when I grow up
Simple beauty singing made-up songs
Of quiet sometimes raucous joy
For everyone and no one in particular
Offering small benedictions to
Broken hearts and weary travelers
On their way from here to there

God bless us every one on this weekend of Sabbath rest and remembrance.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 26 May 2019
Photo of a SE Pennsylvania Catbird found at reddit.com

out for an early morning walk

heavy air
weighs down lungs and feet
saps energy

black crows
squawk and squabble
over choice insects

hidden bird
pours cascading song
from nearby tree

purple thistle-down
floats through breathless humid air
rests on dew-laced grass

buzzing insects
hover over squashed remains
of sidewalk road kill

©Elouise Renich Fraser, 3 July 2018
Photo found at fiveprime.com

islands of shade

islands of shade sprawl
beneath tall oaks and maples
wearing shiny bright green leaves
they rustle in the morning sun
this warm humid day in May

I’m just back from voting in the Pennsylvania primary plus an early morning walk in the local park near our home. No other walkers. Just unstoppable birdsong, humid breezes and the sound of a basketball hitting the pavement.

On many days I can’t say I’m proud of the way our country or its leadership is behaving. But today, Primary voting day in Pennsylvania, I’m grateful I’m not afraid when I go to vote.

I’m also grateful for the court-enforced redistricting plan that gives us a more balanced voting map than we’ve had for years. I care which candidates run in the November midterm elections. Yet overall, I care most deeply about the opportunity to vote safely in an election that hasn’t been gerrymandered to support (if not ensure) a certain outcome for any party or candidate.

Every two years we’re given an opportunity to have a voice. I admit things don’t always go as well as they might or should. Nor does everyone have an easy or fair experience when voting. Nonetheless, unless you’re disabled, unable to vote by mail, or not registered as a Republican or Democrat, to cast a vote in a Primary is still better than sitting at home or complaining about the system.

As for staying up to watch the returns, I’ll leave that to the younger generations!

Happy walking! And may islands of shade and birdsong welcome you.

©Elouise Renich Fraser, 15 May 2018
Photo found at inspiredroombox.com

spring beauty

morning sun
bathes fir trees
heavy with new cones

bird pairs sing —
their broken records
stuck in a groove

I wrote these two weeks ago early in the morning, then prevailed upon D to take the photo at the top. It’s from our bathroom window, looking at what was once a baby Christmas tree planted along our property boundary. The unusually high number of new cones is visible in every variety of fir tree in and around our yard. Good news for the squirrels! They go crazy when it’s a bumper crop year.

Then there were and still are mating birds all over the place singing their loud songs–sometimes female and male birds call back and forth to each other, other times male birds belligerently announce and defend their territory. No need for an alarm clock these days.

I love this time of year! Hoping you’re enjoying whatever season is happening in your part of the globe.

©Elouise Renich Fraser, 11 May 2018
Photo taken by DAFraser, 27 April 2018

slow cold drizzle

slow cold drizzle
hangs in late winter air
song sparrows sing spring

I’m just back from a morning errand. Chilled to the bone, umbrella in hand, winter hat and gloves in place along with multiple layers of warmth. As I walked down our driveway, I heard and then saw a resident song sparrow getting a jump on competitors that might want his staked-out territory! Here’s to an early spring–which we seemed to have for two  glorious days this week before another cold front came through yesterday.

Enjoy the birdsong, if not the weather, wherever you are. (There are two song sparrows on the short video.)

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 23 February 2018
Video found on YouTube – by Lang Elliot at musicofnature.org

It’s early Friday morning

It’s early Friday morning. Rain arrived
late yesterday evening breaking a short
oppressive heat wave. I have one hour
for a walk outside before the rain returns.

Morning smoothie safely tucked away,
I put on my rain gear and open the back door.
The rush of dense humid air assaults my lungs,
my face, and any part of my skin not covered.

It’s mid-summer. No rush of passing traffic
greets me as I turn left from our driveway.
No sidewalk here. Just a curb
and the sound of occasional tires
squishing over dark, damp pavement.

Quickly I turn left down a narrow side street
lined with neighborhood houses,
away from the flow of traffic to and from
wherever people go at this time of day
in midsummer.

I hear the sound of my shoes on wet pavement,
a few muffled voices inside a house or two,
and birdsong filling the air. Invisible waves of
of warm damp air magnify the chorus of bird calls
surrounding me from branches and treetops.

At the end of this short street I turn left
again headed toward more open spaces.
I’m now on a sidewalk, next to the grammar
school playing field on my right, and a church yard
just beyond. A white spire and white headstones
gleam beneath towering trees.

Turning right, between the school yard and
the church yard, I walk beneath trees still
filled with birdsong. Leftover rain and dew drops
fall rhythmically hitting damp ground
and empty parking spaces behind the school.

Circling around the school, toward a public park,
I start up the hill through another deserted parking lot.

My pace slows a bit. I notice
the dying hemlock now marked
with a large white X signaling the end
of its long fight against invasive insects.

Will it receive a proper burial?
A gleaming white headstone?

I circle another tree at the top of the driveway
then turn down a small path through
the park, back toward the school.
Tiny drops of water glitter on tips
of fir needles and low-hanging tree leaves,
brushing my face with cool water.

I turn left to walk behind the school, past
the athletic field on my way home. In the distance
I see the churchyard with its lush green trees.
The weeping beech towers next to rows
of white headstones rooted in earth,
soaking in summer’s gift of life-giving rain.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 14 July 2017
Image found at pinterest.com

Evensong came earlier today

American Beech with seed cone, Fagus_grandifolia_fruit

~~~~~~American Beech with Seed Cone

Evensong came earlier today
Accompanied by sweet robins
Singing the sun to rest 

Mature green-leaved trees give early signs of fall
Clusters of seed pods glow yellow-green
In late afternoon sun  Read the rest of this entry »

spring in the air

Red-faced Lovebird

1

spring in the air

birds aflutter with hope

rehearse the dance

2

cardinal clears voice

struts around lady friend

it takes a while

* * *

Sorry folks,

no backyard photos.

Just a few observations from

my kitchen window.

The male cardinal’s weak song

needed more practice and warmer air.

The female cardinal

was diffident yet didn’t fly away.

Bored, maybe?

Not sure what to do next?

This photo captures

the tentative, slightly awkward, sweet spirit of the season.

* * *

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 4 February 2015
Photo credit:  http://www.iyufera.com
Red-faced Lovebird Pair, Erongo Mountains, Namibia, December

clear titmouse whistles

tufted_titmouse

clear titmouse whistles

melt icy morning silence—

warm forecast of spring

* * *

 © Elouise Renich Fraser, 31 January 2015
Photo and birdsong credit:  www. birdwatchersdigest.com

sweet sound of heartbeat

White-throated%20Sparrow%20r30-1-035_l_1

sweet sound of heartbeat

first song of white-throat sparrow

silent break of day

* * *

Thank you for this gift–
another day of rest.

*

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 25 January 2015
Photo credit:  http://www.birds.audobon.org via internet search
For complete profile with birdsong, click here.

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