A gray squirrel explores a walnut tree, nose down, following each limb to its end. I decide it’s searching for seeds cached by the birds.
The no-longer-drifting snow records moonlit revels: where a vole broke cover, where white-footed mice foraged, where rabbits danced.
Snow-ghosts arise and sail a couple dozen yards before the wind rips them apart. Juncos flock to dip their beaks in the stream’s dark water.
A scant inch of snow turned scabrous by the rain and cold that followed it—but still the world glows, the woodpecker’s red head shines.
Frost has dusted just the two rosettes of mullein leaves beside the driveway: enormous white flowers. A cottontail rabbit bounds past.
A brown creeper ascends the trunk of a walnut tree, its jerky scuttling more insect-like than avian. Up on the ridge, a furious mob of crows.
Over the sound of the wind, the opening note of a fire siren. Thin, cold rain flies sideways, mixed with snowflakes. The sun struggles out.