The weight of winter silence presses on my ears. Heavy snowflakes drape tree limbs, topple seed heads and cover squirrel nests with a crystalline blanket. Falling snow absorbs the whir of auto engines, which pass almost noiselessly down the street. Even the incessant hum of the airport is muffled.
Suddenly, in the snowy hush a northern cardinal sings: “What cheer-cheer-cheer-cheer.” He repeats his joyful song four times and falls silent. His call momentarily illuminates the quiet. His red brilliance punctuates the black, gray and white of a January snowfall.
It is the first time I’ve heard a cardinal sing since last summer. In Minnesota, they typically begin singing in mid-January and will soon renew pair bonds and breeding territories. I welcome his upbeat melody that, along with the lengthening daylight, signals another milestone on the journey to spring.
Northern Cardinal (All About Birds)
Oh Beth!!! What a day brighter. Because I live in a condo downtown I don’t have the chance to hear and see the cardinal near me. Thank you, Thank you!!!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Carolyn! I was so excited to hear one singing again. Thank you so much for reading my blog!
I love your posts! Such beautiful imagery that draws me in to what you see. Thank you for sharing the beauty you observe each day!
Thanks for making time to read my blog, Lisa. Thinking about our birding hikes over the years!