Off through the woods, the sun illuminates a stripe of white where snow still lies under the blueberry bushes on the powerline right-of-way.
On and on, a squirrel scolds some unseen predator. I scan the slope for fox, mink, feral cat—anything to break the monotony of pale brown.
Thinking the phoebes should be back, I cup hands to ears: nothing. 20 minutes later, one rounds the house and flutters in front of my face.
Up early, I can’t set my hat-brim low enough to block the sun, so settle for bedazzlement. Two squirrels by the stream walking in circles.
Dark clouds, and a sombre brightness underneath. A few, wet flakes of snow swirl past. Robin song.
Overcast and cold. The groundhog that lives under the roots of a locust tree is out foraging. She climbs atop a stump and scratches herself.
The tips of daffodil sprouts around the broken dog statue are starting to look a little worse for wear. The sound of a distant mob of crows.
After a cold night, the damp soil beside the stream has frozen into ranks of turrets. Sparrows forage among them for newly exposed seeds.
Four squirrels descend a tree in single file and disperse into the brush. The stream still runs high. A nuthatch rattles his anxiety cup.
Holes open and close in the fast-moving clouds. Where the snow has gone from the yard, a white eggshell rests on the flattened stiltgrass.
Over the rumbling of an oil truck, the cry of a gull far from the sea. I go to the edge of the porch and look: a V of gulls […]
Tundra swans are still migrating despite the bitter cold and wind; I hear them off to the north. A jet without a contrail gleams in the sun.
Fog and steady rain. A drenched gray squirrel bounds across what’s left of the snow and clears the rushing stream with a flying leap.
Sunny and warm; the air fills with insects. A sudden boom from the quarry two miles away. I feel the mountain tremble under my chair.
The fluting of geese—local residents or migrants? But then an undeniable sign of spring: two turkey vultures circling low over the house.
The resident naturalist emerges from the woods, white slacks and dark blue coat a perfect camouflage against the new snow and blue shadows.