March 5, 2013

Song of the Cardinal

My friends, spring is coming.  It has to.  And if it doesn't come soon, winter is going to do me in.  I've had enough of snow, and winter coats, boots, scarves, gloves, snow covered driveways and slippery sidewalks, and most irksome of all--perky meteorologists who delight in telling us what the wind chill is, as if the actual temperature isn't bad enough.  It's early morning, and today's snowstorm has just arrived. All the schools surrounding my town are closed, but of course they aren't closed here, which means my morning commute is not going to be pleasant.  Getting home may be a nightmare....another six or more inches of snow are expected today before this storm passes by. 

But there is hope.  And even if it comes in small, quiet doses, if we are observant we can feel that the earth is trying to move us along to the next season.  The floral department at the grocery store is carrying blooming daffodils, tulips and hyacinths.  When I leave work at 5 p.m. it's still light out, and the last few mornings when I peek out of my bedroom window I can see that it is no longer that dark black of night that makes you want to hit the snooze button two or three or even four times.  And best of all...yesterday morning when I stepped outside my front door, I heard it.  The distinctive song of the cardinal.  Whistling away, not a care in the world, greeting the morning with its cheery notes.  Did you know that cardinals learn their songs, and have a repertoire of eight to ten songs?  Male cardinals begin singing in early March to establish their territories and attract their mates. (That was the educational component of today's blog.)  Here's a nice you-tube video that explains a little about the cardinal's song and if you don't have them in your neck of the woods, here is what I heard yesterday morning:  Cardinal song

Now that I've covered the educational and aural components, let's move on to the visual!

My backyard visitors last spring...can you see his mate on the far left in the lilac bushes?

Oh to see leaves on trees again!!!
Here is the first verse of a poem by Pennsylvania poet William Davis Gallagher, who penned this in the mid 1800's.  If you click on the 'source' link at the end of the verse you can read the entire poem.
 I love finding poets and poems I've never encountered before, and this one certainly struck home..."it's whistle smote my drowsy ear...filled every echoing niche around".  If you have ever heard a cardinal sing you know what this poet is talking about!


The Cardinal Bird

A day and then a week passed by:
The redbird hanging from the sill
Sang not; and all were wondering why
It was so still—
When one bright morning, loud and clear,
Its whistle smote my drowsy ear,
Ten times repeated, till the sound
Filled every echoing niche around;
And all things earliest loved by me,—
The bird, the brook, the flower, the tree,—
Came back again, as thus I heard
    The cardinal bird.

Unfortunately, I think Mr. Cardinal is in for a shock today:

Take care and stay warm!

1 comment:

  1. He is gorgeous, isn't he!
    We just had almost a foot of snow dumped on us, in eastern MN. Spring can't come soon enough for me~