Yesterday I heard a white-throated sparrow's half-hearted song, and there's still one small sparrow of some sort who believes the vegetable garden is her personal kingdom. Other than those laggards, most of the beautiful singers -- the ones that make you stop whatever you're doing and listen -- have gone away and they didn't say where.
As sometimes happens, when the lead singers go off in search of greater glory or at least someplace warmer, you are not exactly bereft after all. It turns out that there were other musicians here all along, practicing quietly to themselves and waiting for their moment. Now their moment has come and they are ready. Bees and grasshoppers and dragonflies saw away on their tiny fiddles. Red squirrels add percussive texture. Lamb and ewe duets offer heart-felt recitative. The seal chorus really only knows its one song, but they love it dearly and never get tired of singing it over and over, their end-of-summer lament.
And there's the single loon who lives year-round in the cove. She's an aged alto, once famous but now retired to this obscure spot. She's still got her voice, and when she sings the island's enthusiastic amateurs fall silent, as anybody would in the presence of greatness.