Branches clack like arrhythmic castanets in the high wind. A few sunlit snowflakes hurtle past, refugees from who knows what distant cloud.

Dark and rainy. A loud tapping from the far side of the cherry snag next to the porch where a downy woodpecker must’ve spent the night.

Bright and breezy. A small black wasp lands on the porch floor, its antennae held together except at the tips, like a forked tongue.

To the east, an agitated crow. Over by the cattails, an anxious wren. And behind me under the house, a groundhog bumps and scrapes.

In the Sunday morning silence, I can hear the wind reshuffling fallen leaves half-way up the ridge and the long sighs of the pines.