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A Thing in the Trees Beyond Me


Several weeks past, while marching hillside, streamside, pineside
I collected raucous eartones.
Some storage squirrel I mused,
And gathering binoculars glanced northward and saw apparition like
A treeghost, avain in form and heavy in bill. This bird was Clark’s Nutcracker, named so for that intrepid explorer
And gazing at that beast, that bird, it took its flight, tongue wagging, tail flapping, ears echoing
And glided from my view, above that crippled treeline at ten thousand feet. 

The Clark’s Nutcracker lives in the Rocky Mountains and is said to bury the seeds it collects in summer, going back in the winter like some wild dog digging, snatching its treasure from the snow-covered pine-needled dirt. It also has the ability to store up to 20 or so seeds under its tongue, and carries these to its young nestlings. It has moved into first place in my bird loving heart.