As the clouds thin, the flat-white ground acquires a gloss. Trees grow tenuous shadows, improbably long and skinny on this shortest of days.

Jays, crows, and a raven: the solstice soundtrack. When I open my laptop, a red bead of a ladybug is huddled among the black keys.

Solstice sunrise turns the western ridge red as an altar. A brown creeper fishes in all the dark valleys of the walnut tree’s bark.

Solstice sun in the treetops. The lilac quivers as two titmice move through, grooming it for insects. A fawn dances out into the meadow.