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.
Parallel lines of arrows where a sparrow hopped through the new snow. The sharp-edged shadows of the trees are a blacker blue than the sky.
Weak sunlight from a whitening sky. A flock of juncos comes twittering into the lilac, hopping on and off the old, broken statue of a dog.
A mink hunts in the creek-side meadow, weaving through currant bushes where juncos bathe and groom, neither paying attention to the other.
Cold, with a bitter wind. The juncos sound twice as cheerful as they did before the snow, twittering as they chase through the lilac.
In the poor light, the quick movements of birds: those that chatter, those that flutter, those that scuttle like beetles, those that tap.
Juncos forage in the meadow, softly twittering. The dull booms of distant gunshots like great lead spikes being driven into the earth.
A lone junco forages in the driveway. (Sick? A pariah?) The labored flaps of a pileated woodpecker coming in low over the yard.
Snow falling in large, wet clusters: I watch the woods whiten. Small clouds of powder in a multiflora rosebush as snowbirds dart in and out.
A squirrel leaps through the snow-laden lilac up by the other house, chasing the juncos. Their high, tinny alarm-calls sound like laughter.
Cold and overcast. A grooming cardinal reaches under his wings, dining on lice. Juncos peck grit from the road to replenish their gizzards.
Juncos in the stream, juncos in the barberry bushes, juncos on the driveway, juncos in the lilac. Junco tracks in the snow beside my chair.
Snow-ghosts arise and sail a couple dozen yards before the wind rips them apart. Juncos flock to dip their beaks in the stream’s dark water.
A low drone of traffic from over the ridge. Half-blinded by the sun, I see the backlit wings of small birds as sudden flowers opening.
Unseasonably warm. A raucous flock of juncos courses back and forth behind the house. Squirrels chase at top speed on the forest floor.
Five golden-crowned kinglets forage in the crown of a birch. In a nearby barberry, a junco ticks sporadically like an uncommitted clock.