A titmouse taps in the rain gutter, its absurd crest buffeted by the wind. Scattered snowflakes dart this way and that as if on a mad hunt.

Sunlight glistens on the ground where pockets of frost have melted and slides across a length of spider silk drifting through the yard.

Bands of cirrus that might’ve been contrails two hours ago are crossed by a helicopter, ponderous and loud, like an enormous scarab.

Siskins like moveable leaves in a bare birch. A squirrel chiseling a skull-hard walnut falls silent when it reaches the soft cerebrum.

A skim of snow on the springhouse roof glows faintly blue under the blue sky. The sun turns the old, limp lilac leaves into stained glass.

Over the wind, a faint music, as if from a distant woodwinds section: silhouetted against a cloud, a south-bound V of tundra swans.

An inversion layer brings freight train and traffic noise to mix with rustling leaves, crow scold-calls, a chipmunk’s metronome. My music.

Warmer and overcast. The silhouettes of small birds feeding gregariously in the top of a black birch—goldfinches, I realize when they fly.

The wind has stripped the treetops of most remaining leaves, flooding them with light. I watch the sine-wave flight of a far-off woodpecker.

Windy and overcast, with a few flakes of snow in the air. Yellow leaves peel off the aspens as I watch. Two ravens croak back and forth.

Just inside the woods, a white spear-tip where a maple’s top snapped off last June, sad as the spikes on the buck standing in the driveway.