Setting: A backyard in western Maine on what some might consider a bleak spring day, e.g. a snowy April 8th.
(Cock-eyed bird feeders indicative of ground thawing—really)
Act I, Scene i: I must wonder when “In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore.” This one, however, marched on, soon to leave, not once uttering, “Nevermore.”
Act II, Scene i: (enter stage left), And then said one Junco to another, “Junco, Junco, wherefore art thou Junco?” (exit center stage only when sliding snow falls from the roof and lands on the ground with a smack, thus startling all)
Act II, Scene ii: (enter stage right) Where there’s a Junco these days, so is there a Song Sparrow, its conical beak ever ready to crack open a seed. (exit stage left after chasing the Juncos around)
Act II, Scene iii: (enter stage left, right and center) Not to be left out of the gang, Black-capped Chickadees flew in and out at a much quicker pace, grasping a seed and taking it to a Lilac branch to break it open. (exit stage left and then fly in and out, over and over again.)
Act II, Scene iiii: (enter stage right) Making noise as he arrived, a Downy Woodpecker showed off his preference for suet over seed. (exit stage left, with undulating flight)
Intermission: All goes silent as the lights go up in the theatre and in flies a Barred Owl. (finally)
As often happens during Intermission, the owl looked about at the offering of treats.
He checked the cupcakes and cookies on sale to the left.
And then he turned his focus to the right, where the drinks were on tap.
He even checked out the items below his feet, hoping upon hope to find a morsel to his liking.
Despite all the choices, or maybe because of them, he had to stretch out one leg . . .
and scratch an itch.
Eventually he changed his orientation to take a better look at the entire spread of food.
But still, he couldn’t make up his mind and so he looked some more.
And swiveled his neck around.
By the time intermission ended, he hadn’t made up his mind and so he moved off without munching any of the specialty items.
Act III Scene i: (enter stage left, right, and center) The large flock of Juncos flew in, flew out, and flew in again. (exit the same way came in, dispersing in every direction)
Act III, Scene ii: (enter stage left) From the shrubs we hear the song first and then Mr. Cardinal flies to the Lilac. (quickly exit stage right)
Act III, Scene iii: (enter stage left) Mrs. Cardinal arrives only after her guy has flown off. She shows her determination to dine on some morsels of corn.
Act III, Scene iv: (stay on stage, move to the right, then turn sharp left) Showing her determination, she lets nothing stop her.
Act III, Scene v: (center stage) With a kernel of corn in her beak, she shows off her success. (exit stage right as she searches for her Mr.)
Act IV, Scene i: (enter stage left, right and center) A repeat performance of the Juncos and Song Sparrows (exit every which way when the snow once again flies off the roof)
Act V, Scene i: (enter stage right) With its own flash of color an American Robin pays a brief visit to the stage (exit stage left)
Act V, Scene ii: (enter stage left) With its breast not quite as vibrant, a Red-breasted Nuthatch ponders the possibilities.
Act V, Scene iii: (center stage) And a decision was made, a morsel of suet consumed. (exit stage right)
Act V, Scene iv: (enter stage right) Waiting until almost the end of the performance, a pair of Tufted Titmice flew in, grabbed a quick bite, and flew off again in the direction from whence they’d come. (exit stage right)
Act VI, Scene i: (enter stage right) Outlasting his Junco relatives, the Song Sparrow continued to eat . . .
Act VI, Scene ii: (center stage) and eat evermore, whether a caged bird or not. (exit stage right)
Act VII, Scene i: (enter stage right) And then a Hermit Thrush sat upon the Quaking Aspen sapling to mark the final act.
Act VII, Scene ii: (center stage) Its upturned bill will soon provide us with the most beautiful, yet hauntingly exquisite song; clear, musical phrases will blend brilliantly as ethereal, harmonious tones. Spring really has arrived in western Maine. (exit stage left)
Grand Finale: (center stage) Spring arrives in its own rendition each year. And the Barred Owl watches.
We watched as well, thankful for the cheap seats that turned out to be the best seats.