I thought he was a cardinal.
You see, we have several male cardinals who love the tippy-topmost perch on our toothpick pine; it is the quintessential podium from which to preach and warble. If they danced, I am sure this would be where their moves would be displayed. The cardinals claim the pine more in the summer, of course, but even in winter, they’ll venture up into the cold to belt out a few notes.
So it was that as our false spring sprung, and more and more tunes were broadcast from the toothpick pine, my winter-atrophied ears assumed it was a cardinal. How quickly the intricacies of birdsong fall into the recesses of the mind, all jumbled up into one fading folder, weakly labeled BIRD. I’m no Stan Tekiela, but it was not so long ago that I had at least a few recordings in the audio library of my mind, and I could pick the brown thrasher from the catbird, or at least the duck from the owl. But in March, things seem to be a little rusty.
I hadn’t actually looked up there to identify our new songster when my husband set me straight. It was no cardinal serenading us from on high (nor did it – *a-hem* – sound like one). My old friend, Julio the Robin, had returned to Wisconsin. Loud and proud, he has been vying for attention for a week or two. The ladies haven’t exactly been flocking to him, and I am chagrined to say that I didn’t recognize him either.
But, I must admit, I am glad that I didn’t wring his little neck last year. For now at least, as the weather man threatens us with 3-11 inches of fresh, heavy snow by morning, Julio is a welcome guest. Sing loud, little buddy. The snow’s a-comin’.
If you need me, I’ll be building an igloo,