|charms of goldfinches in a snowstorm|
Photo by J. Harrington
Past feeder arrangements have suffered losses due to bears destroying the copper feeder or squirrels becoming too much of an annoyance at a tray feeder. Maybe, for the sake of variety, we'll have to try a tray feeder again. As for the goldfinches, they appear to have no signs yet of Spring plumage. Olive yellow(?), if there is such a color, is dominant at the thistle feeder. No chrome yellow is visible yet. That's something else to look forward to. Does anyone know what triggers plumage changes in goldfinches? Some assert it's photoperiodicity. Others focus on the advantage of duller colors in Winter. We choose both.
Did you know that the English goldfinch is even more colorful than our American version? We learned about this difference when we read The Lost Words. We've also learned that a flock of goldfinches is actually a charm.
In the fields
we let them have-
in the fields
we don’t want yet-
where thistles rise
out of the marshlands of spring, and spring open-
a settlement of riches-
a coin of reddish fire-
wait for midsummer,
for the long days,
for the brass heat,
for the seeds to begin to form in the hardening thistles,
dazzling as the teeth of mice,
filling the face of every flower.
Then they drop from the sky.
A buttery gold,
they swing on the thistles, they gather
the silvery down, they carry it
in their finchy beaks
to the edges of the fields,
to the trees,
v as though their minds were on fire
with the flower of one perfect idea-
and there they build their nests
and lay their pale-blue eggs,
and every year
the hatchlings wake in the swaying branches,
in the silver baskets,
and love the world.
Is it necessary to say any more?
Have you heard them singing in the wind, above the final fields?
Have you ever been so happy in your life?
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.