White sky. The sun is a bright spot like the eye of a blind cave salamander. Doves flutter up from the cattails on piccolo wings.
A bitter wind. Through three layers of head covering I can hear the trees squeaking and groaning and a pair of jays exchanging urgent cries.
Deep cold. Two chickadees invade the porch, fluttering noisily above my head. A downy woodpecker excavates breakfast from a resonant tree.
A fresh half-inch of snow, now beginning to blow off the trees. The stream is still loudly eulogizing Tuesday’s rain.
Cold and quiet but for the muffled cries of squirrels mating or fighting in the springhouse attic. A dozen snowflakes wander into the yard.
Sunlight alternates with wind-blown precipitation half-way between snow and rain. The chirps of a downy woodpecker working a tall locust.
Steady rain. Two drenched birders walk up the road, towels draped over their binoculars, and tell me they’d managed to flush a barred owl.