A lull in the storm, and it’s quiet—no sound of trucks or trains, no Sunday drivers. Squirrel scold-calls echo off the ice.

The sun peeks out for half a minute from under a lid of clouds. The downy woodpecker finds a resonant bone of locust and rattles it hard.

Riddle me this: no snow fell here, but the ground is white. The trees with their thin coats of ice creak and clatter in the darkness.

Tickticktick—sleet slipping through the forest’s net of twigs. Grains with no hourglass, a rush order for all who dream of the beach.

Last night, I watched a meteor blaze across a hole in the white clouds. This morning, a full palette of grays. The local star peeks through.

Another cold and misty morning. The last of the snow is gone from the hillside. Pressed flat, the leaf litter still glows faintly red.

The cooing turned out to be a raven—later on, it was barking like a dog. Rifle season is over, and the mountain is littered with gut piles.