Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Muted music

Still no snow here. It should bother me more, but I'm enjoying being able to bike to the library and walk the dog without pulling on boots. A little global warming in northern latitudes may not be so bad, for the human species anyway.

It's cloudy today and very quiet out. We live near the airport but don't often hear the planes, I think we must have lucked out in avoiding the flight path somehow. Sometimes I can hear the traffic on the Crosstown freeway (Hwy 62), about 8 blocks away, but by 10 a.m. or so it's not noticeable.

Which means that I could hear the soft nasal nyeh-nyeh of a nuthatch hopping about in the trees, and even though I didn't spot it, I could picture it working its way head-down to find the little insects hidden in the crannies of the bark. I have a feeder designed to hold peanuts for the nuthatches, but I have neglected it -- it's not near a window, so I forget about it. Must do something about that, find a way to hang it in the large maple tree near the kitchen window. The branches are so big around that my old hanging device didn't fit.

I also heard the distinctive singular chirp! of the little downy woodpecker, which I did spy up high in a tree reaching over the street. It was hopping along a horizontal branch, apparently looking for a good spot to settle in and start pecking. It hadn't found one yet by the time I turned the corner.

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