After a night below freezing, the daffodils sag on their stalks like half-deflated balloons in the bright sun. The stream’s quiet gurgle.
After all-night rain, the sound of rushing water in all directions. I can barely hear the birds. A distant, dull clanking from the quarry.
Up early, I can’t set my hat-brim low enough to block the sun, so settle for bedazzlement. Two squirrels by the stream walking in circles.
After a cold night, the damp soil beside the stream has frozen into ranks of turrets. Sparrows forage among them for newly exposed seeds.
Four squirrels descend a tree in single file and disperse into the brush. The stream still runs high. A nuthatch rattles his anxiety cup.
Fresh from drinking out of the cold stream, a chickadee swipes its bill rapidly against a twig, then goes to join the others in the birches.
The creek has shrunk to a black ribbon between white canyon walls. A cardinal fluttering up from a quick bath shakes loose a shower of snow.
Two degrees below freezing. Juncos bathe in the creek, darting into the currant bushes to groom. A house finch’s labyrinthine cadenza.
A faint dust of frost on the old goldenrod stalks along the creek. A crow chases a crow, yells breaking in the middle like a boy at puberty.
The ongoing warmth and rain have reduced the snow to scattered patches. Above the roar of the creek, a flock of goldfinches whistling.
Two squirrels circle warily beside the road. A third crosses the stream with a walnut between its teeth and seeing them, takes to the trees.
The first half-inch of snow. A mink appears along the creek, looping over and under the snow-laden grass like a dark needle and thread.
Mist thickens into drizzle; the phoebe falls silent. Under the deer-ravaged black currant bushes, slick black rocks where the stream begins.
Loud wingbeats as the shadow of a raven crosses the yard. A buck gingerly lowers his antlered head to the stream.
A bluejay imitates a titmouse, blaring the first note of its call, and drops down to drink from the sky-blue trickle in the ditch.
Sunny but still cold at 9:00. A fly walks slowly up a porch column. Water gurgles in the ditch. Three kinds of sparrows trade songs.