The air temperature
was 18 degrees
at 8 this morning,
but it’s also sunny
and calm,
so it feels much warmer
than yesterday,
when the temperature
registered higher
and the wind was strong.
The day before that,
Sunday,
we awoke to a blanket
of snow
and a little ice underneath.

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These are the days
of winter-and-spring.

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Trees are budding,
Daffodils blooming,
Vinca shoots sprouting
in the dried grass
(Yay! It survived the drought.)
Winter birds are still coming to the feeders
and singing their spring songs.
Meadowlark especially.
Some birds have gone on—
the Goldfinches, I think—
and some summer birds—
Robins—
are arriving.

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The last two mornings
I’ve awakened to watch the male Pheasant
who frequents the block of wild bird seed
behind my house.
Normally shy and skittish,
he seems more relaxed,
spending a long time pecking at the block,
ever vigilant,
but less skittish.
Though largest,
he doesn’t mess with the other birds;
the Red-Winged Blackbirds
and Red-Bellied Woodpecker
(both, known to run off smaller birds)
give him wide berth
even though he tends to fly
rather than fight.
He shines copper
in the sun;
the white ring around his neck
glows.
This morning,
instead of dashing off
to the shelter of trees,
he casually made his way
around the place,
even climbing atop
a mound of soil—
in full view of any lurking threat—
and stood long
in the sun,
shining.
Then he meandered around,
pecking,
watching a cat run,
meandering more
before finally
disappearing in the tree line.
Unusual.
Noteworthy:
Some days
are for ignoring the threats,
for simply standing in the sun,
shining.