Came home today after teaching & sat on the deck looking at the river. First really warm day of the year, though there are still patches of snow in the deep hollows in the woods. Just at dusk, the blackbirds & grackles began arriving, perching in the high branches of the maples to catch the last of the sun. A few of them swooped down to pick at the seeds the chickadees had let fall under the feeders, but it was mostly a social call. At the suggestion of one of my best students, I was reading American Gods -- the black birds & the black river: appropriate imagery, not so much because they are sinister, but because they are numinous.