Cold (-6C). The wind drives pin-pricks of snow against my cheek. I squint at the sun through bare oak branches. It’s good to be back.

Overcast and cold with snow in the air and scattered notes from a traveling ensemble of flautists: a large V of tundra swans arrowing south.

The thermometer’s big arrow points straight at 0°C. It was too windy for frost, but fallen red maple leaves cradle white grains of ice.

Three degrees above freezing. The dead vireo in my garden is perfectly preserved except for its missing eyes—red prizes for ants.

Sunny and cold. The snow lingers like a guilty conscience. A squirrel climbs the dead elm, enters the old nest hole and sits peering out.

-21C. With the inner door open, frost forms on the storm door in minutes. The sun through the trees is spiky as a Medieval implement of war.

Bright and cold. Gusts of wind sweep the snow off branches—ghosts among the trees. A jet’s vestigial contrail briefly underlines the sun.

After the coldest night of the year so far, I’m basking in the bright sunlight, listening to the quiet hops of a junco approaching my chair.

Very cold (-20C). A locust tree with ice in its joints creaks and bangs in the wind. Through a hat and two hoods I hear a cardinal singing.

Clear and very cold. The wind has erased all tracks but its own, and the trees’ etiolated shadows rock back and forth like trauma survivors.

Shrunk in the cold, the porch floorboards pop loudly when I come out. In my snowshoe tracks below the porch, a scattering of rabbit pellets.