Jeepers Creepers

photographs and text by Brian Willson

I awoke from crazy, vivid dreams. Ate breakfast. Worked at the kitchen table while admiring the cool, breezy, mostly cloudy day just outside the window. Left the house with dog at mid-afternoon. Found a few cars in the Beech Hill parking lot and little birds in the trees around it. A couple chickadees, a nuthatch, and a few brown creepers.

I heard the brown creepers, then caught sight of at least three of them, each climbing tree trunks, always moving in that constant, jerky way of theirs. Such curious, comely birds. Such great camouflage. So hard to photograph. I’m glad they’re around.

Climbing the trail, headed straight into a strong southeasterly wind, I watched five or six flickers zip low up and over the hill. Of about a half-dozen humans at the summit, I was apparently the only one who saw the northern harrier sailing low along the northeast slope, white rump flashing. Later, on descending, I saw it again (I doubt it was another one) down the southern slope.

Tonight it’s windy still. The sky has cleared some. I see the moon setting off behind the oaks. The temperature’s not that cold for December, but the wind carries something with it—something like a premonition.