The creek has shrunk to a black ribbon between white canyon walls. A cardinal fluttering up from a quick bath shakes loose a shower of snow.
The wind has allowed only the biggest limbs to hold onto their snow. I can see them far off through the woods—white bridges to nowhere.
Sound, like the rest of the weather, is out of the east: plow trucks, slow-moving trains, a dog barking on and on at the falling snow.
Two below zero. A squirrel races through the front garden, belly-flops into the yard below, and makes it to the woods in eight bounds.
It’s cold. A few, desultory flakes drift down from a half-clear sky. The trees’ long shadows fade in and out.
The wind has been busy, sweeping the new snow to the corners of the porch and half-burying the few tracks in the yard, which include my own.
Snow fine as dust—I notice it first as a slight shimmy in the trees. A plump mourning dove’s tiny head swivels from side to side.
Sunlight softened by high clouds. A great stillness, punctuated by the flutter of sparrow wings and a chickadee singing its spring song.
Just two wild garlic heads remain in the yard, dangling on their stalks like sad, gray Christmas ornaments above the glittery white.
Sun glints on ice-slicked branches and the glossy crust of the hardened snowpack. The distant, mechanical howl of a fire siren.
Freezing rain on a bed of sleet: like listening to thousands of pins dropping. A nuthatch ascends a tree head-first like a brown creeper.
A junco separated from its flock chirps noisily in the lilac. At the edge of the field, two crows do their frantic best to gin up a mob.
It’s snowing; the bergamot heads wear new, conical caps. A mourning dove flies past the porch on nearly silent wings, headed for the pines.
When I step out, a pileated woodpecker flies cackling from a nearby tree, his crest as bright as a stop light this gray and rainy morning.
A red-bellied woodpecker yammers from tree to tree, all around the yard. A builder drives by with nothing in the bed of his truck.
Two degrees below freezing. Juncos bathe in the creek, darting into the currant bushes to groom. A house finch’s labyrinthine cadenza.