Here Today Oriole
On a recent morning, the whistling rattle-scratch song of a male orchard oriole cascaded down from the black willow tree on top of our hill. We've had orchard orioles nest on the farm here once or twice before, and we're keeping our fingers crossed for more luck this year.
He sang and sang, calling out to a female who was not there—at least not yet.
The next morning there was no oriole song. I listened throughout the day, hoping he was still around. Maybe he was just quiet, having found his gal. Or maybe he'd moved on to another place, on another hill, with another tall, leafy tree.
Before he left, the male oriole flew to the dead ash tree, singing still. But with the sun in my eyes, he looked like a mere shadow of his former self.