Hoarfrost on every grass blade, branch and twig, as if the world has suddenly aged overnight. A white-throated sparrow’s tremulous song.
Clumps of snow still dot the crowns of oaks—small clouds, a rain of angelic hats. Flaming orange and red leaves rattle in the wind.
A blue jay lands on a snow-laden branch and the branch breaks. An early snowstorm is like a too-hard eraser that tears holes in the page.
The first frost fades under a white sky. I’m noticing how at a distance even a sound like the banging of a hammer becomes a sort of music.
Deer circle the wild pear tree behind the house, rising high on their hind legs to reach the fruit. A crow jeers from a nearby walnut limb.
The walk is shiny with recent rain, and the west wind is damp and full of sounds from the valley: tires humming, the heavy thrum of a train.
Cool air, bright sun and silence, save for the rustling of cattails and the creaking of one dead oak cradled in the limbs of its neighbor.