I woke early, in the quarter light of morning. Light enough to see the skiff of snow mottling the cedar deck and buddha. The mountain did not show yet. Shortly after I woke, the birds started. A pair trilled back and forth. Another pair sang, a call and response, in double-rising notes. A crow broke in. And another crow. The songbirds continued, undisturbed by the raucous break.

Nature Bob could tell me the species in a sec. I went to him one day and asked about a bird call I’d heard hiking in Fairy Creek.

“It’s the E above middle C” and I whistled it for him.

“Oh, that’s a. . .“ something thrush or whatever. I don’t remember exactly. Bob’s a bird genius.

Pink-sided Dark-eyed Junco by Ryan Schultz

In a half hour or so, the pairs quieted. The light filled in and I could clearly see the snow on my neighbor’s roof and the runs at the very bottom of the hill. The clouds hung low in the valley

It looked cold. I pulled the comforter up and rolled back to sleep.

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