Trees rock and sway in the wind—still the quiet wind of winter, hissing only in the pines. The startled flute of a mourning dove’s wings.
Overcast and damp. The distant calls of a killdeer, returning from migration and spying the valley’s alluringly barren fields.
At first light, off in the fog, the weird, nasal calls of timberdoodles. One launches into the air with a whistling of wings.
Sound is out of the east: quarry trucks and grinders. In the gray woods, gray squirrels glide silently over the rain-slicked leaf duff.
Rain. In the marshy corner of the field, the duck-like calls of wood frogs, just up from their cryogenic sleep and already fully aroused.
Bright sun. From the valley, four gunshots in quick succession, followed by silence. A phoebe circles the house singing, as if sizing me up.
Sunrise tints the clouds orange. I squint through eyelids made bleary with pink-eye and lack of sleep. A downy woodpecker’s soft rattle.