Cloud cover thin as muslin sheet; the woods are anything but gloomy. A small brown moth flutters purposefully past. The neighbor’s chainsaw.

As the predicted snow begins, my parents’ bird feeders grow loud with chittering. An eddy of wind carries the distant snarl of a chainsaw.

The mutter and whine of a distant two-stroke engine. Though the sun’s a dim smear, I can’t stop sneezing. A Carolina wren trills in alarm.

Is it overcast or sunny, warm or cold? I don’t even notice. The line crew is back, and they’ve chainsawed the top off a dwarf pear tree.