White ground, white sky, and in the treetops seven crows gather for a noisy meeting. One of them keeps chanting the same, 5-syllable phrase.

Clear and very cold. I hear squirrel teeth on walnut shell. The Carolina wren’s happiness motor turns over once, twice, then putts to life.

Sometime in the night the rain stopped, the temperature edged above freezing, and all the new armor fell from the trees. Snow in the air.

Quiet except for the distant moan of a truck’s brakes and the staticky sound of sleet, giving way to a heavier ordnance of freezing rain.

Scarlet oak leaf: blown sideways, it still manages to get a few spirals in. Bluejay: it takes me a second to recognize its solitary note.