Strange Crew on the drive back from town. I thought it a carrion Bald Eagle slinking around, so I slammed on the brakes. Never a wise move with a little ice on the hood and no clear view through the rear view mirrors, and the Postman somewhere about his route, and farmers on tractors up to god knows what with round bales. This bird had the blotchy whiteness of a juvenile, and following its pattern whenever it's presented with a more youthful creature that can fly, my callous heart softened, because everyone learns over time, and sometimes that learning can be difficult, and painful, and does not necessarily end in fairy land and a roast Potato. The bird flew again. I raced after it to get my second chance at seeing him. His head was small and his neck was longer. Some years ago there was an Osprey on the lake. But today's was not a conclusive sighting, because I could have been chasing a Turkey Vulture that had squabbled with bleach.
In the lane, where mud is gathering upon gravel, as hillsides succumb to ice and wet and mire and bog-dom, the sort of chill and damp that brings visions of a hell that does not include fire or heat of any kind, two Pileated Woodpecker with splendid feathers and bright red crests. And when you see two of them around the time when Snow drops develop delusions, you know its either two boy Pileated Woodpeckers up to no good, or it's a boy who thinks he might have found a girl. Difficult to know, because Pileated Woodpecker are aloof, and in my view rather conceited. Of course the idea of hell as a fiery furnace arrives through the ancient practice of burning the chaff, so as to be utterly rid of that which is deemed useless. Otherwise at this time of the year a person might begin to think hell fire a welcome resort, the Cancun of tomorrow, which I guess is why those less consumed by purity often choose to depart the coil in winter.