The Cardinal Ballet

The colors of this late winter day

Are muted.

Ashy snow-threatening sky

White birch trees stand tall

Planted in the dirty snow.

Even the pine trees exude

A verdant boredom.

Then a flash of red sparks

Through the air.

Then a second

And a third.

Three wondrously colored

Cardinals alight on the

Cold.

I watch them flit from

Tree to tree.

Their delicate winged ballet

Enthralling me.

Reminding me that

Spring is not far away.

The Turkey Truce

“I feel like I’m in a slo-mo version of The Birds.” I found myself thinking this afternoon, while I was outside with my dog. To the left of me, half of the flock of turkeys was moving around the perimeter of my property towards the back. I watched them moving through the trees, their clumsy-looking bodies moving with surprising slow grace. I watched them for a minute or two and then turned my attention back to my dog, who was playing “rockey.” Rockey is his favorite winter sport where he pushes a rock across the crusty snow and then chases and pounces on it. It’s pretty funny to watch. Anyway, my attention on him was stolen by movement out of the corner of my eye. The other half of the turkey flock was crossing the property to the right of me. My mind drifted to an image of the two halves of the flock meeting in the yard of my neighbor behind me. The flock and I have an uneasy truce. Even though he’s getting better, my dog still tends to chase them when they are in my yard. The central part of the day, they have learned to avoid my backyard. But, evidence of their early morning visits is seen in the ghostly trails of dinosaur-like tracks in the snow that crisscross my entire yard. It’s a weirdly beautiful co-existence we’ve created.

The Ice-Covered Yard

My dog stands rooted to the

Spot where he stands.

I have called him

But in his mind

He can’t obey.

His usually verdant yard

Is now covered

In splotchy grey ice.

Some primal instinct

Is speaking to him.

Telling him not to go across.

The hard frozen surface.

I watch him and feel

His mind working.

Looking right and left

He finally finds

His way back to me

And jumps up,

Pleased with himself

And this reunion.

Turkey Wake-Up Call

Dawn seemed to rise earlier than normal the other day. The rising sun illuminated a flock of turkeys that were grazing in my front yard and congregating in my driveway. They were gathered five feet from my dining room window.  The window my dog monitors all day, and apparently the wee hours of the morning as well. I was alerted to them, from my cocoon of cozy blankets and quilts, with him barking his fool head off for what seemed like an eternity. As I rolled over, I noticed my cat sitting in the window that overlooked the driveway. He looked at me and then outside and meowed his “I’m hunting birds” meow. Curiosity finally got to me, and I left the warm confines of slumber and staggered sleepily to the window and looked out. My eyes widened, I had never seen the flock so close to the house and being able to observe them so closely would have been more interesting if I hadn’t been half asleep. My bed beckoned me back to its warmth and snugness, and after telling my dog to be quiet, I returned to it and went back to sleep. Later, when I went downstairs to start my morning officially, I found my dog sound asleep on his bed in the kitchen. Evidently, his morning had left him as exhausted as I was and even the temptation of going outside failed to rouse him from his slumber. I poured myself a glass of orange juice and sat at the table and waited for him to wake up before we could start our day.