On and on, a squirrel scolds some unseen predator. I scan the slope for fox, mink, feral cat—anything to break the monotony of pale brown.
Up early, I can’t set my hat-brim low enough to block the sun, so settle for bedazzlement. Two squirrels by the stream walking in circles.
Four squirrels descend a tree in single file and disperse into the brush. The stream still runs high. A nuthatch rattles his anxiety cup.
Fog and steady rain. A drenched gray squirrel bounds across what’s left of the snow and clears the rushing stream with a flying leap.
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.
The snow shovel lies supine, fresh snow in its scoop. Wind-blown icicle drips dot the squirrel and rabbit tracks with random punctuation.
A distant siren. From a hole near the top of a tall black locust, a squirrel whines at precisely the same pitch.
One squirrel doggedly trails another through the falling snow. A third joins in and it becomes a high-speed chase, full of yelps and whines.
Thick fog. Snow melt-water drips onto the porch roof. A sudden scrabbling of squirrel claws on locust bark—that waterfall sound.
Three mourning doves disturbed by a foraging squirrel take flight. Like fast notes blown on a shakuhachi, the whistling of their wings.
A squirrel tumbles out of the big maple and catches itself in the top of a locust sapling, tail wrapping around the branch like a fifth leg.
A gray, dank morning. The light tapping of meltwater on the porch roof. A single squirrel forages in the trees at the edge of the woods.
After 15 hours of freezing fog, every twig is spiky with eldritch feathers. A squirrel makes a small thunder by running on the crusted snow.
A dark heap on the snow where a squirrel husked a walnut. Two gunshots in quick succession. Soon the mountain will be dotted with gut piles.
A rattling rain of ice from the pear tree out back where a squirrel forages. Bird tracks in the snow below the porch end with wing-prints.
A maze of squirrel and sparrow tracks between ice-covered tufts of grass glittering in the sun. Down in the valley, a siren starts up.