As I sit at the computer and type this am, the sky is a bright winter blue. Sunlight angles low across the thin blanket of snow. The cool browns of four oaks and a basswood cast purple lines upon the lawn. Upwards, hundreds of dappled branches across the blue.

Four cardinals cluster close amidst the branches and flap apart again as the two bright males seek to overcome each other’s competition for the two females. Suddenly a flutter of wings as they come beak to beak. Just as quick, they fly back to their original branches. They look at one another but I can perceive no hostility. I throw out a handful of sunflower seeds on the front walk. But they have other needs in mind.

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