4:50 a.m.: moonlight and dawn-light are at equilibrium. Then the whip-poor-will starts his insane chant. Other birds wake and chime in.

I take my eye off the clear sky for a moment and suddenly there are clouds—four streaks beside the moon’s thin frown. Cerulean warbler song.

A galaxy of sparkles in the yard where the sunlight hits a patch of frost. The fourth-quarter moon hangs low over the trees. A grouse drums.

Wind tosses the leaves that last night were glistening in the moonlight. A blue jay does its red-tailed hawk imitation, but nobody’s fooled.

A phoebe flies back and forth between the sunlit treetops, criss-crossing the moon. I can hear the clicks of its bill as it catches insects.