-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.
Frost on the grass like mildew. An echoey rasping sound that can only be a squirrel chiseling at a black walnut shell inside a hollow tree.
Yesterday the wet ground glowed in subtle, late-autumn colors; now it’s blank white. Frost on the storm door—a map drawn with knives.
Sunlight glistens on the ground where pockets of frost have melted and slides across a length of spider silk drifting through the yard.
At the base of the hill, the meadow is white with frost. A small deer carries the white torch of its tail up into the sunlit woods.
Patches of frost in the yard. A yellow jacket from the underground nest in the garden lands on the shoulder of my sunlit coat.
Frost has dusted just the two rosettes of mullein leaves beside the driveway: enormous white flowers. A cottontail rabbit bounds past.
A heavy frost sparkles in the yard. A foot from my chair, the only four walnut-leaf nibs on the porch are clustered in the shape of a rune.
Melting hoarfrost drips like rain. I watch one glistening drop change from red to yellow to violet as the sun inches into the deep blue sky.
A heavy frost whitens tree branches fifteen feet off the ground. It’s so quiet, I can hear people talking a quarter mile away.
The soft-edged shadows glimmer with frost; the stripes of dim sunlight glisten. Only the Carolina wren insists on clarity, clarity, clarity.
The yard is white with the first frost, prostrate myrtle and stiltgrass leaves outlined as if in chalk. Leaves spiral down in the still air.
Frost has silvered the grass where a rabbit grazes, one hop away from a spreading patch of sun. When a crow flies over he flattens his ears.
Hard frost, as they say—but up close, it’s spikes and needles. As if in the absence of snow the ground grows its own fur against the cold.
Finally, a good facsimile of a winter morning: enough snow to cover the grass, and on the window a tangle of stitches etched in frost.
Cloudless at sunrise, and the yard a-glitter with frost. It’s dead silent, save for the stream’s gurgle and a raven croaking high overhead.