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.
It’s very cold; the tall locust at the woods’ edge creaks with ice. A woodpecker taps on the topmost limb, silhouetted against pink clouds.
I hold out my glasses and peer at a drop of water left over from the shower: fisheye lens in which the sun falls from bent, inverted trees.
The sun rising through the trees off to the southeast seems so much less ambitious than last night’s moon. Goldfinches’ desultory chirps.
Melting hoarfrost drips like rain. I watch one glistening drop change from red to yellow to violet as the sun inches into the deep blue sky.
The soft-edged shadows glimmer with frost; the stripes of dim sunlight glisten. Only the Carolina wren insists on clarity, clarity, clarity.
The fourth-quarter moon is the thinnest of Cheshire-Cat grins among the treetops. Sunrise reddens the western ridge. A nuthatch calls.
A bald-faced hornet nest hangs abandoned from the top of a birch. The sun finds a new hole in the forest and blinds me as it tops the ridge.
Cold and clear. A whitish gnat zigzags toward the woods, following a sunbeam, like an anadromous fish ascending its native creek.
A murky sunrise. Gnatcatchers high in the tulip tree dart and hover, tiny silhouettes against a cross-hatch of stratus clouds.
At sunrise, two bird calls I associate with early spring: blue-headed vireo and chickadee. But the breeze is warm, the sun a lurid orange.
Sun struggles through the humid air: a golden glow. The leaves look twice as big as yesterday, animated by the buzzy calls of warblers.
The sun clears the ridge and disappears behind a dark lid of clouds. The wind which a moment before felt envigorating is now simply cold.