Snow! Snow snowing on snow. Snow snowily snows. Snowy, snowier, snowiest snow. Snow snow snow! (Ice? No.)
Cold—the porch boards pop under my feet. A yearling doe walks by with her fur puffed out. But the stream’s gurgle remains unmuffled by ice.
Wind roars on the ridgetop; dervishes of snow in the yard. A loud rending—some trunk or limb—and I hold my breath waiting for the crash.
Bitter wind, and a skim of new snow fills in the dips and wrinkles, making the icy snowpack look young again. The screech of a jay.
Yesterday’s slush has set like poorly mixed concrete, and the road’s slick as glass. The Carolina wren sings a song I’ve never heard before.
In the steady rain, a squirrel grabs an unburied black walnut from under the walnut-stained slush and carries it back up the tree.
The predicted icestorm has yet to start. Long minutes pass between the distant noise of engines. A raven croaks. The stream’s slow trickle.
Quarry noise. What good are holidays if we can’t at least have some quiet? I concentrate on the dove wings’ one-note flutes, imagine angels.
Four does pick their way down the road, file into the woods, and surround a small rhododendron. “Stop eating that!” I yell. They bound off.
A screech owl adds its quaver to the minimal dawn chorus: mourning dove coos, finch and sparrow chirps. Snow and highway noise on the wind.
A pileated woodpecker herky-jerks to the top of a tall locust and flies off. My apple core disappears into the white yard without a sound.
The sky takes half the morning to clear: deep blue of the almost-solstice above snowy limbs. The chickadee’s two notes in a minor key.
Fine as powdered sugar, this snow. Juncos wallow in it. A Carolina wren lands on a snowy branch, ruffles its feathers, and does not sing.
Dull, overcast morning redeemed by the croak of a raven. Our neighbor picks her way along the icy road, immersed in the music from her iPod.