In the past month or so we’ve had a new visitor to the bird feeder outside my window: black-eyed juncos by the dozens. I’m in love with them. I could watch them all day. I haven’t been able to find a picture that perfectly captures the steel-blue-gray feathers about the head and neck…how it flows softly into the fluffy chest that has two strokes of chestnut brown painted under the wings. Many of the women in my family love birds…they have always been a part of me. It reminds me of Emily Dickinson…”Hope is the thing with feathers – / That perches in the soul – / And sings the tune without the words – / And never stops – at all.” I always imagined that if I were a bird, I’d be a scrub jay with its roughness and gorgeous, resilient blue. These days I feel a little bit fragile – a lot like that steel-blue-gray tucked squarely around my shoulders. Lately I like the junco.