A few degrees above freezing. The sun’s still shining when the snow begins to fall, small flakes sifting down through the flowering trees.
All up the hillside, the glossy leaves of mountain laurel shimmer in the sun and wind. Minute snowflakes from who knows where pelt my cheek.
In contrast to the clouds, the snowbank beside the driveway is shrunken and gray, like something left too long at the back of the fridge.
Where yesterday the hillside was mostly white, now it’s mostly brown, and the dawn chorus is twice as loud with the addition of one robin.
In the mud bowl of the old robin’s nest that the wind blew out of the cedar tree, a fresh dusting of snow. The cardinal’s monotonous chant.
Blue sky, warm sun. Through a curtain of meltwater I watch small birds fly back and forth, silhouetted against the blazing white yard.
Yet again, the world is transformed by new snow clinging to every twig. The Carolina wren pokes his bill out from under the eaves to sing.
A sound I haven’t heard since last fall: a chipmunk’s territorial ticking. I see it zip across the rock-hard snow, tail pointing at 12 noon.
A new half-inch of snow; I have to brush off my chair before I sit. The sun behind snow clouds is a white blear, a bear, a blinding tooth.
In the new snow, the splayed-hand tracks of an opossum cross the porch. A brown creeper busies itself on a tree at the wood’s edge.
Where rabbits take shelter under the lilac, several limbs have been de-barked near the ground, bone-yellow against the crust of snow.
During a lull in the snow, our neighbor drives past on the tractor. A deer leaps up from a patch of laurel, runs a few steps and stops.
Windy and cold, with a new skim of snow on the ground. Song sparrow and bluebird bubble over with what sounds today like forced cheer.
A mourning dove duet, and that rising note—the first field sparrow of spring! An hour later, snow is blowing sideways.
Lichens glow green and gray on rain-darkened bark. Only a few, small patches of snow still dot the hillside, like a lingering pox.