A small hawk flies through the forest in steady rain, perches in the crown of an oak for several minutes, and flies on. The wind picks up.

‪The clouds that settled in yesterday haven’t lifted, their slow drift barely perceptible through the shifting clarity of the trees.‬

Fog like a soundproof room. As always, the dead cherry’s five splayed stumps are giving the middle finger to the road—to whatever comes.

Blue jays jeering in the steady rain. In January. One more thing that doesn’t feel right on a day when the world is out of joint.

An echoey call of a Carolina wren sounding like an old-fashioned telephone. The yellow spot in the clouds that marks the sun slides shut.

Two ravens hang high against the clouds without flapping a wing. Two more appear and attack, croaking, and all four soar off to the north.

Fog heightens the intrigue of January’s gray-squirrel soap opera: the slow-motion chases, the tree-top fights, the ruses to elude stalkers.