The fourth-quarter moon is the thinnest of Cheshire-Cat grins among the treetops. Sunrise reddens the western ridge. A nuthatch calls.
First light. The half-moon has just cleared the trees. Behind the other bird calls, an almost continuous rattle from the chipping sparrows.
Dawn, and the peepers are still calling. The bridal-wreath bush glows brighter than the thin grin of a moon rising through the trees.
An hour before dawn, the half-moon is a sideways emoticon among a scatter of bright pixels. A screensaver takes over and the yard goes dark.
A morning so clear, the half moon looks close enough to touch. A squirrel still spooked by some long-gone predator has yelled itself hoarse.
A plane drags its cross-shaped shadow over the ridge, loud as an evangelist. A few clouds. Half a moon abandoned in the center of the sky.
Thanks to insomnia, I have two mornings: one with ground fog lit by the waning moon at dawn, the other hot and abuzz with carpenter bees.
Where the moon had glowed through ground fog at 4:00, now the sun glimmers. Four ruby-crowned kinglets flutter in and out of the lilac.
So quiet, the downy woodpecker tapping a dead branch sounds as loud as a pile driver. High overhead, the half moon like a big right ear.
Five below zero Celcius at sunrise. A single kinglet flutters in the birch—its whispery chirps. The fourth-quarter moon’s thin grin.
An hour before dawn, a high thin cloud drifts northeast to the rumble of a freight train. When the half-moon intersects, a rainbow disc.
Past 6:00, and it’s still warm and cloudy. But the moon soon breaks through into good weather. As its glow dims, the breeze turns cool.
Thick fog at daybreak, as if the bright moon of 2am had spread a kind of mildew over the mountain. Train whistle. A nuthatch’s nasal call.
At last the garden cricket has a rival. They creak slowly back and forth. I scan the western sky for what’s left of last night’s moon.
A phoebe pecks at the porch roof, then lands in the cherry tree with its feathers puffed out against the cold. The waning moon.
Tundra swans at sunrise—their ethereal flutes, their shining white forms—are trailed by a local Canada goose and the crescent moon.