After two days of soaking up sun, the sage plant’s fat, gray-green leaves have melted the snow-pack around each protruding sprig.
Trees pop in the cold. I close my eyes against the sun and watch its track fade on my retina: a connect-the-dots drawing gone wrong.
Hollow thumps where a rabbit dashes across the slick snow-crust, alarmed, perhaps, by the sun’s blinding path through the trees.
At first the snow falls straight and serious. But as it thins, they seem to lose their direction and wander back and forth, these flakes.
After 15 hours of freezing fog, every twig is spiky with eldritch feathers. A squirrel makes a small thunder by running on the crusted snow.
At mid-morning, before the snow starts its quiet infiltration, before the hard knuckles of sleet, the distant hysteria of a mob of crows.
New snow—already despoiled by deer digging for grass. I watch a red-bellied woodpecker inch down one side of a tree and inch up the other.
The last of the snow is gone, and the moss that lay under it for a week looks greener than ever. A distant train horn blows a minor chord.
It’s warm. Filmy-winged flies drift past the porch. A flock of geese arrows low over the house—the wft wft wft of their great wings.
Small birds appear as they fly past, and the sun, too, emerges only to vanish a second later, the fog turning from yellow back to white.
Crow talks to crow in crow-talk, says “Crow!” The third crow says “Eat!” (It is just warm enough for carrion to be carried off.)
A dark heap on the snow where a squirrel husked a walnut. Two gunshots in quick succession. Soon the mountain will be dotted with gut piles.
A rattling rain of ice from the pear tree out back where a squirrel forages. Bird tracks in the snow below the porch end with wing-prints.
I bathe in the idea of sun more than in the sunlight itself—feeble and without much warmth. A woodpecker beats his head against a dead tree.
A maze of squirrel and sparrow tracks between ice-covered tufts of grass glittering in the sun. Down in the valley, a siren starts up.
The sun! Rising through treetops turned to blazing crystal. The red-bellied woodpecker foraging for breakfast sounds distinctly unimpressed.