I’m grateful for a cloudless, bluebird sky day, without snow! There hasn’t been a day this lovely since last fall. It started with a phone call from a neighbor that broke through my DND wall at 8:45 am. He saw smoke from his place west of here that looked like it was coming from my house. He just wanted to make sure everything was okay. Living among junipers most of us have a panic button when we see smoke. I was so grateful not only that he called, but that he called back when he didn’t get through the first time, so Do-Not-Disturb deactivated for him. It’s a great feature on these smart phones, for which I’m also grateful.
There’s a tower in my house, so I ran up there with binoculars and was able to identify the location of the smoke as coming from a neighbor’s place a little farther east, and to confidently surmise that he was burning a slash pile. He’s a responsible forester, the ground is wet, and the smoke was small, so I wasn’t concerned. But I was grateful for the feeling of being interconnected in this neighborhood where we look out for one another. And I’m always happy to climb the tower ladder and scope smokes.
The day warmed up just enough to spend a little time outside between work and teaching, and while I was out there I sat down to listen to the first continuous birdsong I’ve heard this year. The Woodhouse’s Scrub Jays were yakking at each other flashing through the trees, and magpies were scolding something, but there were finches singing, and a flock of crows flew overhead. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a crow here; we have mostly ravens. But crows are expanding westward ho, and about forty of them flew overhead cawing together. I was dumbstruck. I savored the present moment with the mix of birds… and listened hopefully for the call of a Say’s Phoebe. Not yet, but hope floats.
I think I saw a Phoebe a couple days ago.