Monday, 7 December 2020


Predawn birdsong for some reason seems to peal with far more volume in the city than at home in the forest, and was noticing this fact on this dark December morn, also recalling how I’d read somewhere that more animals were becoming nocturnal to avoid human, so perhaps in the woods, our feathered friends aren’t compelled to be such early-risers, nor have they taken to our bird-feeders. So this latter sentiment from Victorian poet Oliver Herford (*1860 – †1935, born on the day that the referring article was published) coupled with the fact that ornithologists do not really know why birds sing during the winter with mating season so far off—both courtesy of Better Living through Beowulf—resonated with us as a reminder that the cold, dim days don’t last forever: 

I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December
A magical thing
And sweet to remember. 

“We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September,”
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.