Bright and cold. Gusts of wind sweep the snow off branches—ghosts among the trees. A jet’s vestigial contrail briefly underlines the sun.
Open water in the ditch. Juncos fly down to drink then up to perch in the snow-laden branches of a dogwood, shaking themselves like dogs.
Something has left a line of black droppings on the porch beneath the railing. I watch them slowly disappear under a new blanket of snow.
After the coldest night of the year so far, I’m basking in the bright sunlight, listening to the quiet hops of a junco approaching my chair.
Through driving snow, our neighbor is out plowing the road. The plow’s hydraulics whine like a sled dog. Tire chains scrabble at the ice.
Behind the sky’s thin skin, the sun is lurid as a bruise. More snow on the way. Six doves take off at once—the piccolo noise of their wings.
Warm sun on new snow. From behind the house, the high-pitched whistling of waxwings. The porch roof’s last, snaggletoothed icicle lets go.
Now that the wind has died, I can admire its work: the yard scoured like a salt flat, the stream turned into a canyon with dangerous curves.
Very cold (-20C). A locust tree with ice in its joints creaks and bangs in the wind. Through a hat and two hoods I hear a cardinal singing.
From the valley, a wailing duet of fire sirens. Woodpeckers tap and listen, tap and listen, as the soft, light snow goes on falling.
Bright sun, and meltwater drips from the roof despite the cold. I think about microclimates—pits in the snow around dark goldenrod stalks.
Another flash mob of crows—a knot, a clot. (No murder yet.) A sudden snow squall and my dark jeans and coat are studded with stars.
The small hole in the yard that leads to the underground stream has melted open, dark as a blowhole in the skin of a white whale.
A sudden clamor of crows mobbing some unseen hawk or owl up on the ridge—that tone of righteous fury transcending language.
Thick fog. A steady drumming of snowmelt on the porch roof. A bluejay in the barberry, out of what looks like sheer boredom, begins to yell.
A gray day loud with traffic. The snowpack has slid half-way off the metal roof over the oil tanks, curling under the eaves like a claw.