Sounds of Winter

by Patricia Sullivan

Northern cardinal sitting on an ice covered branch following winter storm

Some sounds we hear only in winter.  Rapid tap-tappings on a platform bird feeder outside a sunny window invite us to become reacquainted with chickadees, finches and grackles.  Tiny feet perform intricate dances, scrambling for space.  Noisy beaks offer staccato rhythms.  A brilliant cardinal lands expectantly and hears only the familiar clicks and clacks of kindred species seeking a hearty breakfast.  What did he expect?  The noisy welcome of a brass band?  Not this morning. Sunflower seeds and thistle are on the menu, and a generous selection of finch food. Our birds will not go hungry today.  Sighing wind off a frozen pond nearby, black water growling under ice like the belly of a hungry giant.  Favorite sounds, heard only in winter.