Seventeen juncos hop around on gravel in front of the house, scratching and pecking at meltwater and debris. They have arrived on the warm tail of an April blizzard and waited politely for ground to appear. From the porch I watch their tiny pink-yellow beaks stab the stones, imagine what the needle-sharp claws on their feet are feeling, but I’m not able to see or fathom what they are interested in for the hour they spend here in the rain. They are feathered in gray moleskin. They flit, flashing pale undersides.