The days are getting really short. I get home at 3:45 and stare at the sun for a half-hour and then it's gone. It just drops like an orange off of an uneven countertop.
Then there's the undecided 45 minutes of half-light. That when it gets cold. That's when the craziness happens. The grackles fill the treetops. Winter-bare treetops out to the west - no leaves; you can see the outline of each individual bird, hundreds of them. They squawk and clatter. They move from tree-to-tree for unknown reasons. Then they're gone, en masse, leaving in dark, spotty clouds of noise and flapping.
These birds unnerve me. They freak me out. They envelope my backyard feeder in a cackling, instantaneous lump - and leave just as suddenly. Winter can do that. It can be so quiet that the noise of your own head gets very loud in comparison. I'd like to tie someone to a tree - overnight. See? These are the thoughts when the stillness weighs in with its heavy thumb.
Last night, I saw where the sparrows sleep. It's true. They sleep in the honeysuckle thicket in my backyard. If you look in after dark and let your eyes focus, you can see dozens of tiny bird-silhouettes, stock still sleeping, breathing imperceptively, no doubt dreaming that I am a cat.