Deep cold; nothing stirring but the wind. Clouds of snow blown off the trees are back-lit by the rising sun.
It’s cold—I can hear it in the way the wind hisses in the dead grass. As the sun climbs through the trees, I close one eye then the other.
Sunrise turns the western ridge crimson. Chickadees and titmice flit through the branches, calling, while we stand snapping pictures.
Trees pop in the cold. I close my eyes against the sun and watch its track fade on my retina: a connect-the-dots drawing gone wrong.
Hollow thumps where a rabbit dashes across the slick snow-crust, alarmed, perhaps, by the sun’s blinding path through the trees.
Small birds appear as they fly past, and the sun, too, emerges only to vanish a second later, the fog turning from yellow back to white.
The sun! Rising through treetops turned to blazing crystal. The red-bellied woodpecker foraging for breakfast sounds distinctly unimpressed.
A bitter wind. Stripes of sunlight on the wet leaf duff glisten like slug trails, while in the west, a bank of black clouds moves in.
Sunrise. I watch the slow drift of contrail graffiti: I, I, I at cross angles, until they merge and disappear into spreading clouds.
At the base of the hill, the meadow is white with frost. A small deer carries the white torch of its tail up into the sunlit woods.
Cold and clear. Half the trees on the ridge are bare now, leaving narrow, blue windows all along the crest for the sun to pour through.
Cold at sunrise. A pileated woodpecker hitches up the trunk of tall locust, pausing to yell when he reaches the sunlit crown.
A towhee sits on a high branch at sunrise, his breast puffed out against the cold. His rufous feathers briefly match the color of the ridge.
The fluting of geese: just two of them, flying far apart. Sunrise seeps like a dirty secret between cracks in the clouds.
The sun rises above a mass of cloud looming like the lost, real mountain for which this is a foothill. A wren pops out from under the porch.
Dull yellow stripes in the fog: the rising sun slipping between ridge-top trees; thin tulip poplar branches chewed bare by a porcupine.