Deep cold. Two chickadees invade the porch, fluttering noisily above my head. A downy woodpecker excavates breakfast from a resonant tree.

Cold and quiet but for the muffled cries of squirrels mating or fighting in the springhouse attic. A dozen snowflakes wander into the yard.

Sunlight alternates with wind-blown precipitation half-way between snow and rain. The chirps of a downy woodpecker working a tall locust.

Steady rain. Two drenched birders walk up the road, towels draped over their binoculars, and tell me they’d managed to flush a barred owl.

Fog gives back to the forest those soft edges and sense of distance that were lost when the leaves came down. Rain taps on the roof. A crow.

Once more the snow has retreated to the shadiest spots. Ignoring a squirrel’s hawk alarm, a Carolina wren burbles with what sounds like joy.