Sallow sky; a yellow pustule of sun. In a tall oak, a pileated woodpecker bangs his head, attracting an entourage of smaller woodpeckers.
Two crows chasing a third from their territory stop in the woods above the house, the sun glistening on their glossy backs and wings.
Most of the mountain is still sealed under five inches of icy snowpack, but the wind goes down the plowed road, turning over all the leaves.
Buffeted by wind, I close my eyes and focus on the sun’s warmth as the archipelago of drifted snow rearranges itself around my chair.
The nasal alarm calls of nuthatches, one to the south and one to the north. The sun is a yellow stain on a white tablecloth. A silent raven.
Cold and bright. The trees stand in their melted pits, legacy of the recent thaw. I watch the wind shred a fast-moving cloud.
In the silence after the bulldozer stops, a song sparrow sings his lying spring song over and over. A gauze of stratus cloud dims the sun.
Snow-melt dripping off the roof forms a glistening bead curtain, blown sideways by the breeze, rattling on the tin roof over the oil tanks.
Branches skinned by rabbits, yellow as fresh bones, are starting to emerge from the snowpack. Light rain on my glasses turns my view to blear.
As the temperature climbs, I watch the shadows on the snow lose all their blue. The groundhog under my house gnaws on a beam.
Yesterday’s snow on every branch? A filigree of drips sparkling in the sun. Periodic crashes from the back of the house as icicles let go.
In the midst of a near white-out, a crow caws, and the chickadees keep twittering. I shake snow from a tissue to blow my nose.
Shutting my eyes alternately against the glare, I discover that the trees’ shadows are only blue in my right eye; they’re gray in my left.
The only spots of bare earth are in the plowed driveway. When I stand up, they erupt in wings, seeding the snowy yard with brown sparrows.
The creek has shrunk to a black ribbon between white canyon walls. A cardinal fluttering up from a quick bath shakes loose a shower of snow.
The wind has allowed only the biggest limbs to hold onto their snow. I can see them far off through the woods—white bridges to nowhere.