At 6 am it’s the coolest time of the day. I try to spend as much time outside before the DC area humidity gets me, and there’s no other option except siesta, so I’ve been taking my tea and oatmeal on my balcony. The space is large enough for a couple of chairs, a side stool, and a few plants. I added a birdfeeder this year and I love it.
Mostly, there are sparrows brown and delicate, but there’s also the sweetest Tufted Titmouse. His little downy blue-grey mohawk and big black eyes speak to me. The house finches, males have this beautiful scarlet cap and breast. They mob the feeder and devour the seed. There’s a mating pair of Cardinals, orange beaks cracking sunflower seeds. I also love the White-breasted Nuthatch who hops up the building clinging to the bricks, waiting for his turn. At the feeder, he dips his long thin beak into the seed.
Of course, the big guys want a piece of the action. There’s a red-bellied woodpecker, which doesn’t actually have a red belly but a red cap and white belly. Its black tail is dotted and dashed with white like Morse code come to life. There are Blue Jays who scream at the smaller birds and drive them away. A Mourning Dove who has only visited a few times, and a huge crow who perched on the hook holding the feeder this morning. (I cawed at him to leave the seed for the smaller birds and he complied.)
The whole time, Rothko (my cat) crouches inside, tip of tail flicking in anticipation of a kill that never comes.