standing at the open window, washing morning coffee cups and cereal bowls, i am thinking of my mother and how she loved spring. new growth in her garden, geese returning to the river, sitting outside - she was always glad to see winter over. perhaps i get that from her.
from the corner of my eye, i see something drop like a stone from a high branch of the lilac tree outside. too fast and straight to be a leaf, i think, as i step to the door to investigate. and there she is, right outside my back door.
i have heard cardinals this spring and saw a male from a distance a few weeks back, but never the elusive female. there's no seed out there because i haven't fed winter birds - or winter mice - in years. and there was no male in sight, watching his mate from a high maple or hemlock branch.
she visits for a long while, then flies back up into the lilac, and finally, off into the deep woods. i took about twenty shots with my telephoto lens, all through a winter-dirty window pane, so as not to disturb and to keep her around as long as i possibly could.