After weeks of near-absence, crows call and quarrel in all directions. It must be the gut piles, venison viscera festering among the leaves.
The sun rising through the trees off to the southeast seems so much less ambitious than last night’s moon. Goldfinches’ desultory chirps.
Cold and windy, but the scattered cumulous clouds barely move. Up on the ridge, the plaintive call of a turkey separated from her flock.
A voice woke me from a dream this morning, telling me there was snow on the ground—and there is! A Carolina wren trills from a snowy branch.
A nuthatch scolds something at the woods’ edge. A few distant gunshots. You’d never know the hollow is full of hunters sitting in trees.
The ethereal notes of cedar waxwings on the wind. In the now-leafless lilac, I spot a black walnut wedged into a cluster of small branches.
Snowflakes swirl past the porch; the trees twist and sway. High, thin notes of a white-throated sparrow. A raven croaks twice.
Mid-morning. The sun slowly fades behind thickening clouds. Chickadees and titmice flit among the dried goldenrod heads, arguing loudly.
A deer under the lilac glows strangely in the sunlight refracted from my bedroom window. The waxy myrtle leaves crackle between her teeth.
Melting hoarfrost drips like rain. I watch one glistening drop change from red to yellow to violet as the sun inches into the deep blue sky.
The lace-work of leafless treetops against the clouds. No wonder the dead cherry with its cluster of six limb-stumps reminds me of despair.
Gray sky. A gray squirrel emerges from the tiny attic opening in the springhouse roof and falls head-first into the cattails.
A heavy frost whitens tree branches fifteen feet off the ground. It’s so quiet, I can hear people talking a quarter mile away.
Cold and clear. The hissing of a nearby air compressor blots out all birdsong. It sounds like nothing so much as really loud silence.
In one and the same moment, the howl of an accelerating speedbike, a train whistle, and the quiet anxious calling of a nuthatch to its mate.
The soft-edged shadows glimmer with frost; the stripes of dim sunlight glisten. Only the Carolina wren insists on clarity, clarity, clarity.