Fog. In the absence of the usual noise from quarry and factories, I can hear every grunt and groan of the trucks jake-braking on I-99.
A steady shimmer of rain. Wet tree trunks glow gray-green with lichen, and the lilac looks festive with its orange strings of dead bindweed.
Frost on the grass like mildew. An echoey rasping sound that can only be a squirrel chiseling at a black walnut shell inside a hollow tree.
Jays, crows, and a raven: the solstice soundtrack. When I open my laptop, a red bead of a ladybug is huddled among the black keys.
Christmas Bird Count! Crow, junco, white-throated sparrow. Three chickadees, two nuthatches and a cardinal. Nothing in the damn pear tree.
Overcast and dreary. The neighbor’s rooster is drowned out by a train, its air horn blowing an almost perfect minor chord.
Colder, with a flat white sky and the ground lightly seasoned with snow. A lone nuthatch zigzags and spirals up the trunk of a tall locust.
A stalk of dried grass in the yard resembles a dancer, leaf-limbs vibrating ecstatically in the wind. The sun goes back in and she vanishes.
A bedraggled squirrel climbs the rain-slick elm snag and takes shelter in the old flicker hole, turning to peer out at the downpour.
A nuthatch and chickadee gadding about together, poking into everything. Nuthatch flies past my nose; chickadee balks and circles the house.
An oak up in the woods drops a top limb just as I am looking. The sky is gray and gravid with rain. The limb goes head-first like any diver.
A sharp-shinned hawk flying three feet above the ground arrows up into the woods. The faint hint of sun disappears behind thickening clouds.
Traffic noise blends with the ridgetop wind to form a single roar. In the thin snow behind my chair, the meandering tracks of a sparrow.
Snow blowing sideways. A minute after I sweep it, the porch floor is white again. The blaze-orange vests of two hunters leaving the woods.
Overcast and windy. Two nuthatches descend tree trunks on either side of the road, calling back and forth as they glean in the furrows.
Last night’s snow has left a scant half-inch of fur on all the trees—these naked sleepers. Some of it melts, some evaporates into fog.