Tuesday, January 6, 2009


New presences. Smoky the cat plunging through the snow on his daily route, leaving his deep prints. White-throated sparrow's unique song: Old Sam Peabody, Peabody, which I found at random by punching in numbers in the Audubon book/audio-player. Five clicks and I got the one I had heard on the way home from the mailboxes. It's a mournful tune which starts high, then drops, then follows with some short, bursts.

At the end of 2008 we spent two nights in NY, saw an embroidery exhibit at Bard College, heard a lovely Early Music concert at St. Bartholomew's. Then we continued by train to DC to check in with Karen, Fede, Elena and Marina, a lively crew. Marina is a princess, as she insists by donning various regal outfits. She is only two but most of the time knows what she wants. Elena just turned five, but she shows much wisdom beyond her years.

At the end of 2007 I was inputting all the books I own into librarything.com. 942 books. A sort of obsessive-compulsive thing. Then somebody told me about goodreads.com. On this one you put in all the books you've READ (get it? not the same group...!). That was two days ago, I think. 816 books. More obsession! More fun!

Shortly before the end of 2008 I heard the peabody, I mean the white-throated sparrow. And wrote a poem about him/her. Seems a good way to start the year. With a poem.

Thoughts of the White-Throated Sparrow

Our song is Poor Sam Peabody Peabody in the US but Oh Sweet Canada, Canada across the border. I know it sounds like we are thinking too hard,starting out with a moody rumination, then switching downward in pitch,as if one idea led to another, ohhh no, what was I thinking of? They say we are abundant but declining over much of the breeding range. Must be the fault of those juncos, Mr. Dark Eyes. Spend a little time with one of them and your children will be hybrids, grayish, dully-marked, no yellow lores, those splashes of face paint below the eyes, no white throat either, and how would we look for them in the dark? Best stick with our kind, tan stripes are our thing, easy to spot in the hedgerows. Ohhh, where did I leave my shopping list? Ohhh sweetgum-amaranth-chickweed. Ohhh you with the bike-helmeted head. Ohhh who is this Sam Peabody, Peabody?

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