The sun! Rising through treetops turned to blazing crystal. The red-bellied woodpecker foraging for breakfast sounds distinctly unimpressed.
Ice storm aftermath: bent trees and broken limbs that couldn’t withstand the sky’s smothering embrace. A tinny rattling when the wind blows.
The silence of steadily falling snow, punctuated by the tapping of a downy woodpecker and the distant scolding of a squirrel.
Despite the cold, a song sparrow warbles in the bushes. Inside, a shrill chirp from the smoke alarm—a dying battery’s swan song.
Parallel lines of arrows where a sparrow hopped through the new snow. The sharp-edged shadows of the trees are a blacker blue than the sky.
A bitter wind. Stripes of sunlight on the wet leaf duff glisten like slug trails, while in the west, a bank of black clouds moves in.
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.