The trees in the nearby woods are bare, branches reaching to the sky, leaves frozen to the ground by the light snow. A walk in the woods is infinitely better than a walk in the mall, especially in December. For the first time since we got our new puppy, I take the time to look for birds in the canopy.
Raven (now almost 9 months old) is becoming a good trail dog and she waits patiently for me when I stop to look about. The first bird I see is a female Pileated Woodpecker, then a Red-bellied Woodpecker passes by with a loud call. Chickadees sing while feeding on pine cones and I see a White-breasted Nuthatch after hearing its nasal honk. A Brown Creeper, Downy Woodpecker and Hairy Woodpecker bring my bird count to seven in one small section of the trail.
Heaven and nature sing on the eve of a long winter.