Steady rain—a gloomy sunrise. The big dead maple next to the road has the palest bark, its faces gone blank as masks.
Red at dawn, and red again at sunrise for the last day of regular firearms deer season. Finally, at fifteen minutes past sunrise, a rifle booms. Then silence again.
The moon’s bright bowl full of darkness rises through the trees at dawn and vanishes into clouds. Two great-horned owls on the valley side of the mountain carry on duetting.
A dusting of snow—not even enough to bury the moss. Three gray squirrels in a high-speed chase circle the bole of an oak, claws on bark like castanets.
Some breaks in the clouds around sunrise. The wail of a fire engine on the wind. Snowflakes drift down.
A gloomy dawn lightened by brief scatterings of sleet. The muffled notes of a Carolina wren issue from a hole in the road bank.
A mottled gray sky all the way to the horizon, not brightening even for the sunrise, let alone for the crows with their many complaints or the red-bellied woodpecker jeering from the top of a black locust.
Steady rain. An hour past sunrise the sky brightens a little, and the trees in their green sleeves of lichen begin to glow.
Fog hides the sunrise, apart from a small opening on the ridgetop that fills with golden light. Then the gray curtain comes down again.
It’s just two degrees above freezing, but after days of cold, I feel overdressed. Juncos twitter softly by the springhouse. Raindrops begin tapping on the porch roof.
An aging contrail stretches toward a sun half-hidden by cloud—fuzzy point at the end of an exclamation mark. Three crows take their argument elsewhere. The furnace under the house shivers to life.
Bitter cold—and the silence that comes with it. I can hear a squirrel’s claws on bark halfway up the ridge. A raven croaks twice.
A scurf of snow on the ground. A few fat clouds, barely moving, turn orange. A lone crow in the treetops coos like a dove.
Gray and windy. The cedar tree moans against the house. A tulip poplar seed capsule comes spinning in and lands on my shoulder.