High above the slushy alley, in the pristine air of an early spring morning, the cardinals are clearly visible: flashes of scarlet darting among dun colored branches. They are audible, too, calling out an intriguing pattern of short and long sounds:”wh wh wh wh wh wh whoooooooooooooo,” they sing over and over. In the distance the mourning doves warble their plaintive counterpoint: “wh whoooooooooooooooo. wh whooooooo. wh whoooooooo.”
An SUV looms into view, grinding loudly and heavily up the alleyway, greenish and enormous. For a moment it appears to threaten the birds. Perhaps its ugly sounds will frighten them and silence their songs. Eventually, it finds its place in the alley–a dirty slab of concrete beside a garden gate–pulls in and silences itself instead.