The new black cherry leaves, unmarred by any insect, are showing their pale backs to the sky, like hatchling fish unsure of how to swim.
All up the hillside, the glossy leaves of mountain laurel shimmer in the sun and wind. Minute snowflakes from who knows where pelt my cheek.
Censored by wind and distance, a mourning dove’s call retains only the middle notes, like a bell tolling for the long, slow death of winter.
One avatar of spring, despite the snow cover: a turkey vulture comes hurtling over the house, wings tilting crazily in the high wind.
Windy and cold, with a new skim of snow on the ground. Song sparrow and bluebird bubble over with what sounds today like forced cheer.
The bright sun frees a leaf in the yard from a new fur of snow; a cold breeze raises it from the dead and sends it sailing over the house.
Cloudy and cold. From over at the neighbors’, the low rumbling of a large machine and the excited shrieks of children eddy on the wind.
In the cold wind, a gray fish fights against the lilac twig that snagged it: the collapsed remains of a caterpillar tent fallen from a tree.
Three thin continents of drifted snow on the porch floor shape-shift every time the wind picks up, losing a headland, gaining a peninsula.
This isn’t silence but a steady roar, ridgetop wind drowning out everything except for the wren, who translates that agitation into his own.
Wind and a little new snow have softened the landscape’s hardest edges. The birches squeak like beginning fiddlers trying to get in tune.
Blowing snow plasters my boots, propped up on the railing. The creek is living in the past as usual, roaring with last night’s heavy rains.
Clear and very cold. A single squirrel track crosses the yard, the footprints spaced far apart. The windward side of my face turns numb.
Bitter cold with a wind. The hillside seems unusually still, and after a while I realize it’s because there aren’t any squirrels out.
The sound of the wind up on the ridge mingles with the sound of trains in the valley until it’s almost impossible to tell them apart.
A fresh six inches of snow. Most tree branches have been swept clean by the wind, but the rose bush harbors a tangle of snowy canes.