Friday, March 2, 2012

March 2: Birch bark

There's a white birch on the edge of our parking lot, visible from the kitchen window if you peer through the hanging bird feeder. I notice that natural trunk growth--or perhaps the ravages of winter--has caused some of the bark to peel off in long, curled strips that look like small parchment scrolls or something you'd find tucked inside a fortune cookie. This tree often provides a perch for chickadees, who peck open sunflower seeds on its branches or wait there for a turn at the feeder. A bird might notice the peeling bark as a potential hiding place for insects to glean. My thought, as I paused in the driveway this morning to listen to the chickadees belting out their spring courtship songs, was that these slips of birch paper were like little love notes to the birds--billets-doux from the tree to the chickadees.

Birch bark scroll flapping--
a love note unfurled by wind,
read by chickadees.

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