Field Notes, Sketches, and Watercolors: Birds of the
High Plains

Then let death take me planting my cabbages,
indifferent to him, and still less of my gardens
not being finished.

—Michel de Montaigne

Maybe death isn’t darkness, after all,
but so much light wrapping itself around us—
as soft as feathers—

—Mary Oliver


After Kathleen Foster’s car crash, Dr. Sutton confined her bird walks to “all those big trees” in her backyard. A small place for new discoveries, but she has found her half acre of worn paths, black and bur oak, hackberry, and two crabapple trees a productive wildlife refuge. After all—she conceded to herself and to no one else—at eighty-five, this little place at the east edge of town is all she can handle, especially on cold winter mornings like today.

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