A solid gray sky marred only by the sun’s blurred searchlight. It’s cold. From all directions, the anxious-sounding calls of woodpeckers.
After a cold night, the damp soil beside the stream has frozen into ranks of turrets. Sparrows forage among them for newly exposed seeds.
Tundra swans are still migrating despite the bitter cold and wind; I hear them off to the north. A jet without a contrail gleams in the sun.
Two below zero. A squirrel races through the front garden, belly-flops into the yard below, and makes it to the woods in eight bounds.
Clear and very cold. The muffled roar of distant military jets. From up at the other house, a tufted titmouse’s monotonous chant.
It’s very cold. I’m glad for the sun, which however soon begins to pulse as thin, parallel clouds move in, as regular as waves on a beach.
Another bright, frigid morning. I could get used to this light without heat, snow like a white beach, a hissing of surf from the tall pines.
Deep cold; nothing stirring but the wind. Clouds of snow blown off the trees are back-lit by the rising sun.
Cold, with a slow but steady snowfall. The immobile silhouette of a rabbit, ears erect, resembling nothing so much as a quarter note.
It’s cold—I can hear it in the way the wind hisses in the dead grass. As the sun climbs through the trees, I close one eye then the other.
The temperature is back below freezing, and the road is a ribbon of ice. I watch the treetops rocking in the wind and think of sea anemones.
The trees creak in the wind, casting only the thinnest of shadows. My breath freezes into two small icicles at the bottom of my beard.
The croak of a raven followed by a tree popping in the cold, loud as a gunshot. A chickadee flits through the branches of a birch, singing.
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.
Cold, with a bitter wind. The juncos sound twice as cheerful as they did before the snow, twittering as they chase through the lilac.
Cloudy and cold. From over at the neighbors’, the low rumbling of a large machine and the excited shrieks of children eddy on the wind.