The small hole in the yard that leads to the underground stream has melted open, dark as a blowhole in the skin of a white whale.
A sudden clamor of crows mobbing some unseen hawk or owl up on the ridge—that tone of righteous fury transcending language.
Thick fog. A steady drumming of snowmelt on the porch roof. A bluejay in the barberry, out of what looks like sheer boredom, begins to yell.
A gray day loud with traffic. The snowpack has slid half-way off the metal roof over the oil tanks, curling under the eaves like a claw.
A gray morning. I notice, silhouetted against the snow, how all the heads in each patch of wild garlic are bent in the same direction.
The only tracks on the road are mine, and the only clouds are right where the sun is. I hear heavy wingbeats followed by a raven’s croak.
Cold again after yesterday’s thaw. A mourning dove flutters down into the lilac, gets settled on a branch and closes its eyes.
From down-hollow, a pileated woodpecker comes yelling straight over the house, lands and falls silent, joining its mate to forage for grubs.
Birds flutter back and forth across the yard to drink the dark water of the spring. The frigid air glitters with scattered snowflakes.
The cellophane-crinkling sound of ice-sheathed branches swaying in the wind gradually gives way to the clatter of falling fragments.
A sharp-shinned hawk careens out of the woods, dives for a junco, misses. It lands on a locust limb and ruffles its feathers.
Clear and very cold. The wind has erased all tracks but its own, and the trees’ etiolated shadows rock back and forth like trauma survivors.
A few small birds are among the sideways-flying snowflakes. From the tops of the pines, two blue jays issue their usual denunciations.
Shrunk in the cold, the porch floorboards pop loudly when I come out. In my snowshoe tracks below the porch, a scattering of rabbit pellets.
At sunrise, one shaft of sun reaches all the way through the woods to illuminate the end of the springhouse. The western ridge glows orange.
The barberry bush, still red with fruit, is heavy with a second crop of snow. From its depths, a white-throated sparrow’s plaintive song.