There’s a shimmer in the air: rain fine as the hair on a woman’s back. The wet tree trunks are scrofulous with lichen.
Weak sunlight from a whitening sky. A flock of juncos comes twittering into the lilac, hopping on and off the old, broken statue of a dog.
Clear and cold. As if hounds had learned to play hunting horns, the sound of two Vs of geese going over, one this way and one that.
A mink hunts in the creek-side meadow, weaving through currant bushes where juncos bathe and groom, neither paying attention to the other.
Shreds of clouds disintegrate as they drift toward the east. Sun on wind-tossed mountain laurel leaves—the whole hillside shimmers.
Rain and fog. Two bucks stand among the trees, antlers dripping as they lower their heads for a better look at the doe lying in the weeds.
Two squirrels circle warily beside the road. A third crosses the stream with a walnut between its teeth and seeing them, takes to the trees.
The last patch of snow in the yard has shrunk to half the size of a handkerchief. Three chickadees explore the woods’ edge, comparing notes.
Thirty thousand feet overhead, a south-bound jet turns to the southwest. Its boomerang-shaped contrail drifts slowly over the ridge.
Cold, with a bitter wind. The juncos sound twice as cheerful as they did before the snow, twittering as they chase through the lilac.
The first half-inch of snow. A mink appears along the creek, looping over and under the snow-laden grass like a dark needle and thread.
Sunrise. I watch the slow drift of contrail graffiti: I, I, I at cross angles, until they merge and disappear into spreading clouds.
Classic November sky, with here a light patch and here a dark—a full palette of grays. Wind riffles the oak leaves, now more brown than red.
A Carolina wren lands on the dead cherry stump and pumps his round body up and down, as if priming the inexhaustible pump of his song.
Snowflakes swirl past and vanish into the weeds. Only the springhouse roof is cold enough for them, but soon it too turns back to gray.
In the poor light, the quick movements of birds: those that chatter, those that flutter, those that scuttle like beetles, those that tap.