voles

Overcast and cool. Below the porch, a single orange jewelweed flower and a traveling shiver in the grass where a vole is foraging.

Warm, with a clearing sky. The aging snowpack is a map of dark, branching lines: not varicose veins but the tunnels of meadow voles.

Another cold and overcast morning. A meadow vole zips into its burrow beside the stream and a song sparrow flies up with an indignant chirp.

At the base of the stone wall, a raised figure eight where a vole has ventured out, tunneling just under the surface of the new-fallen snow.

New snow on every twig: a strange fur, this fine, dry stuff that forms so far below freezing. A vole rustles in the leaves beside the porch.

The no-longer-drifting snow records moonlit revels: where a vole broke cover, where white-footed mice foraged, where rabbits danced.

A catbird taps at the dining room window—the same glass that taunts the female cardinal. A tiny shadow darts through the grass: meadow vole.