A chipmunk scurries through the garden with a wad of dried leaves between her teeth and disappears beneath a flowerless clump of peonies.

It’s snowing; the bergamot heads wear new, conical caps. A mourning dove flies past the porch on nearly silent wings, headed for the pines.

After two days of soaking up sun, the sage plant’s fat, gray-green leaves have melted the snow-pack around each protruding sprig.

The all-night rain has stripped the leaves off the witch hazel, revealing the flowers, some clutching raindrops in their pale skinny petals.

The hornets stream in and out of their hole in the garden, departing to the south, returning from the east. A towhee calling in the dogwood.