Rain drumming on the roof. A single bar of white-throated sparrow song, and then the factory whistle dividing the dawn from the day.

A pair of ravens fly low over the house, invisible in the fog. I’m lost in thought about trickster gods, and right on cue: Arrk! Arrk! Arrk!

White on green: the lilac bush heavy with yesterday’s snow. Chickadees bicker, working out a pecking order that will last until spring.

A doe trailed by a scrawny 5-point buck. The soundtrack includes a train, a raven, geese, a wren, and a low-flying plane with a wide eraser.

Dawn finds the first snow — a faint dusting. It’s very still. Down in the pines, a screech owl quavers. The slow footfalls of a deer.

From 6:00 to 6:30, it’s quiet except for the distant whine of truck tires and the wind in the treetops, more rattle than rustle now.