frozen-marshesVenturing into frozen marshes, I sought
Company of winter birds, nestled in vine-
Entangled pine thickets, where few dared
Tread on this soggy ocean island, still in
Earshot of roaring surf, distant setting
Sun, night freeze encroaching on early
January evening.

As I picked my way into their inner sanc-
Tum, a canopy of thick pine branches,
Soft pine straw carpet, worries of the
Outside world seemed to fade, as did
Sound and biting cold, nature’s protec-
Tion against winter’s first skiff of wind-
Blown snow.

Within minutes, chickadees and their
Embolden cousin, a crested titmouse,
Fluttered to nearby branches, chirping,
Chiding, they saw me, even though
I was sitting statue quiet, camouflage-
Clad, woman of sea trawlers bearing
Peanut butter suet.

Inquisitive, a black-capped chickadee
Landed near my shoulder, his dainty
Wings ushering gentle flitter. He took
Quick bites of peanut butter, minute
Beak making mere toothpick scrapes,
Enough to fuel his tiny feathered furnace
For duration of winter night.

Eyes bright and undaunted, Mr. Titmouse
And his lady landed with a “thunk,” they
Took a bite of suet and darted to head-
High branches, where they savored their
Evening fare. At the corner of my eye, a
Weary nuthatch chirped above my head,
Skittering upside down on piney boughs.

A cacophony of chirping continued, snow
Birds fluttering to and fro, spending shared
Moments with my friends deep within their
Wooded home, and for an hour, I beheld a
Rare bond of bird, branch, and song within
Their sequestered wooded realm that fell
Silent in winter’s dark and frozen nights.

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