I went for a run along White's Point Rd in Standish Me., a road that follows the shore of a sector of Sebago Lake, the deepest lake in the state. The air here smells like pine needs and wherever I look I see big blue-black birds, crows, often in triads. Just out the door I scared a crow, it flew up into a pine on the other side of the road. It wasn't too scared of me though, it registered its protest against my presence by hopping up to slightly higher branches. I imagined holding the beautiful bird, I could feel its weight and strength in my hands, the soft firmness of its feathers, its delicate solidity, the warmth of its beating heart.
I passed a house where I heard hammering, and on my way back, the hammering persisted and another bird was scared by my footsteps. I saw what at first appeared to be another crow because of its darkness and size, but then I saw the tufted red head. The glamour of Piliated Woodpeckers is inesteemable, weren't runways invented for those igneous top knots? People I later saw walking down the road were perfectly color coordinated with the bird's red, black and white color scheme so I suppose it's a conspiracy. And that hammering? Most likely not human at all.
Last year when I was here I discovered the story of the Tarboxes. Could that really have been their surname?