A bitter wind. Through three layers of head covering I can hear the trees squeaking and groaning and a pair of jays exchanging urgent cries.

Under a bright blue sky, the snowpack gleams like metal. The raspy cries of a jay. Trees rock in a sudden gust of wind, branches clattering.

A few snowflakes scud past. The dried blades of cattail next to the springhouse rattle and hiss. A dead leaf on the road flips over.