In notice-me red, he chip, chip chips. Not one to stay at the feeder long, the cardinal puts in an appearance then moves on to the bushes and ground. I watch from inside my screened porch, in slippers, hoping to be warm enough but its only 50 degrees and my coffee is already cold, as are my fingers. But who of us early risers can resist the May morning song? My family jokes that my tendency for early rising on weekends is a curse. Even our dog goes back to sleep after briefly being let out and fed when I get up. But sleepers miss the gifts.
I watch for it, the coyote that sometimes trots parallel to the back fence heading east. Where does he go? Perhaps someone has food or trash he appreciates. He is punctual. I hope he's not hunting the mallard duck pair that sometimes bed and breakfasts in a low area in my perennial bed that pools after heavy rain.
Many mornings a squirrel jumps off the roof of the screened porch above my head, leaping onto a small arbor with early clematis and trumpet flower vines. Routinely it jumps onto the top of the split-rail fence and uses the rail as a squirrel-highway to travel around the yard's perimeter to the back. Down one tree trunk later she's at her final destination under the bird feeder for breakfast. It would be much more direct to travel straight across the yard. I surmise she doesn't like dew-wet feet. For the squirrel, probably dew-wet underbelly, too. I don't want to think about why she might be coming from the roof.
I mentally hum an old Dan Fogelberg song and go pour myself warm coffee. The mindfulness of this time is rich. It is solitary but not quiet. I appreciate bird communications more singular than the later day sounds, when birds calls are blended with an assortment of lawn-maintenance noises. I hate for it to end. And it's going to be a day and there is really no way to say no to the morning.
And then the sun reaches high enough over my neighbor's trees to shine into the screened porch. It's the warm signal. I sit, like a charging cell phone, while the warmth and the May morning sounds power me up after a week of work. And now I'm ready to have my day.