February 2009

The local geese seem restless, flying from valley to valley as if trying to remember how to migrate. Four juncos in the road gathering grit.

Sun shining through thin clouds and wind-blown snow. A great wave of happiness sweeps past. In the barberry bush, a cardinal begins to sing.

A section of latticework below the porch floor has fallen off, and though it kept nothing out, I feel strangely vulnerable. A red sunrise.

Bitter cold. A loud creaking from the edge of the woods, as if from an unlatched door swinging in the wind. Snow cover thin as a ghost.

The precipitation changes minute by minute: snow, sleet, drizzle. From the neighbor’s house, the peremptory snarls of a reciprocating saw.

The trees beyond the feeder are dotted with small birds watching every movement of the sharp-shinned hawk as it picks lice from its wings.

A quarter-inch of snow makes the woods much whiter than it would’ve in December, before the leaf duff had been flattened by an icy iron.