Ten degrees above freezing at sunrise. A squirrel leaps through the soft snow like a salmon swimming upstream. High overhead, a raven calls.
Cold and very still. The sun climbs through the ridgetop trees as slowly and bristly as a porcupine of light.
Thick hoarfrost gives the sun rising through the trees a soft, glittery nimbus, and the aging snowpack has regained the sparkle of youth.
Windy and cold. The rising sun peeks out from beneath a lid of clouds: in the sudden glow, goldfinches, their squeaky calls.
Sunrise turns the western ridge red. A squirrel falls out of a walnut tree and lands with a thump in weeds white with the first frost.
Clear and cold at sunrise. A migrant thrush calls from the not-yet-ruined temple of the trees. Overhead, the archaic smile of the moon.
Cool and clear, with sunlight just beginning to gild the treetops. From the woods’ edge, the plucked-string call of a migrant tanager.