Birds forage on the back slope during a break in the rain, the gray juncos among the rocks and the scarlet cardinal in the barberry bush.
Pine siskins in the bend of the road, eating small stones for their gizzards. They rise as one and settle in the crown of a birch.
A faint shimmer of precipitation, and everything encased in a layer of ice as if the world’s been shrink-wrapped for overnight delivery.
A few lost snowflakes floating this way and that. A hunter walks up the road, his safety-orange vest printed with the shapes of leaves.
Warm and overcast. It’s the first day of deer season, and the silence seems charged. The sun appears for three seconds. A blue jay calls.
White ground, white sky, but the roofs are shedding their snow drip by drip. Traffic noise coming from the west—sure sign of rain.
A pileated woodpecker foraging near the ground suddenly flees yelling into the treetops. Several nearby juncos take off too, just in case.
Cold and bright. When I open the door to go in, the wind blows a titmouse in with me. It flies from window to window, clawing at the glass.
The deep quiet only heard on major holidays. With small puffs, snow is beginning to fall off branches, giving the trees a feathered look.
The silence of falling snow. It clings tight to everything, like any newborn. The neighbor’s rooster can’t believe it—he crows and crows.
Dark clouds against light clouds. A distant helicopter. A white-throated sparrow’s plaintive song wandering up and down the scale.
The rain-soaked forest shines in the sun. Two chipmunks are calling, and at first I mistake their metronomes for dripping water.
A week of sub-freezing temperatures and I’d almost forgotten the smell of the earth. A pileated woodpecker opens its black-and-white wings.
The low throb of a freight train laboring up the valley. A mossy log at the woods’ edge is lit up by the sun’s reflection in a window.
This time of year thou mayst in me behold: trees creaking from the ice in their joints. Snow here and there, thin as drifts of dandruff.
Overcast except for a hole where the sun glows like a bleary eye in a socket. A titmouse taps on a windowsill to open a sunflower seed.