Cold and quiet but for the muffled cries of squirrels mating or fighting in the springhouse attic. A dozen snowflakes wander into the yard.
A few snowflakes scud past. The dried blades of cattail next to the springhouse rattle and hiss. A dead leaf on the road flips over.
A jay walks the metal ridge of the springhouse roof, where a tangled mass of Virginia creeper has stretched red tentacles over the shingles.
Cool and extraordinarily clear. With the sun on its gable end, the old springhouse glows like a lost tooth among the dark, swaying cattails.
Two phoebes hawk insects by the springhouse, while Acadian and great-crested flycatchers call from the woods. It’s a bad day to be a fly.
Sunrise, and seven species of birds are calling—but not the phoebe, who flies in and out of the old nest under the springhouse eaves.
The old crabapple next to the springhouse is in full bloom, a mass of shocking pink abuzz with insects. The sharp snap of a phoebe’s beak.