A pileated woodpecker foraging near the ground suddenly flees yelling into the treetops. Several nearby juncos take off too, just in case.
Cold and bright. When I open the door to go in, the wind blows a titmouse in with me. It flies from window to window, clawing at the glass.
The deep quiet only heard on major holidays. With small puffs, snow is beginning to fall off branches, giving the trees a feathered look.
The silence of falling snow. It clings tight to everything, like any newborn. The neighbor’s rooster can’t believe it—he crows and crows.
Dark clouds against light clouds. A distant helicopter. A white-throated sparrow’s plaintive song wandering up and down the scale.
The rain-soaked forest shines in the sun. Two chipmunks are calling, and at first I mistake their metronomes for dripping water.
A week of sub-freezing temperatures and I’d almost forgotten the smell of the earth. A pileated woodpecker opens its black-and-white wings.
The low throb of a freight train laboring up the valley. A mossy log at the woods’ edge is lit up by the sun’s reflection in a window.
This time of year thou mayst in me behold: trees creaking from the ice in their joints. Snow here and there, thin as drifts of dandruff.
Overcast except for a hole where the sun glows like a bleary eye in a socket. A titmouse taps on a windowsill to open a sunflower seed.
Bitter cold; even the sun looks brittle. I savor the silence, broken only by goldfinch warble and the scattered calls of robins.
Yesterday the wet ground glowed in subtle, late-autumn colors; now it’s blank white. Frost on the storm door—a map drawn with knives.
Over the drumming of rain on the roof, a white-throated sparrow’s quavering song. The fog settles in, gray and inescapable as secret police.
A whispering in the dried grass: not wind but sleet. A hawk materializes like a magician’s handkerchief and flies off through the trees.
Cold and still. Even with no snow, the light is already wintry: low-angled, flooding the open woods, illuminating the wings of small birds.
A titmouse taps in the rain gutter, its absurd crest buffeted by the wind. Scattered snowflakes dart this way and that as if on a mad hunt.