Sunlight at half-strength on the half-gone snow. Behind the house, a squirrel twists and rubs itself ecstatically against a rotten stump.
Silence has descended along with the snow—6 inches so far—save for the rumble of snowplows. A squirrel walks on the dry underside of a limb.
Bright and windy. Leaves skitter like crabs across the forest floor. I track an unseen hawk’s passage by the squirrel alarms it sets off.
Weak sunlight. Dead leaves are all a-rustle, rummaged through by squirrels, voles, chipmunks, juncos. The distant cry of a maybe killdeer.
Ten degrees above freezing at sunrise. A squirrel leaps through the soft snow like a salmon swimming upstream. High overhead, a raven calls.
Snow remains on the thicker limbs, making a dramatic graffiti on the dark wall of trees—erased here and there by busybody squirrels.
I watch two different squirrel entourages trailing females through the treetops until both are swallowed by a slow-moving snow squall.