Quiet at mid-morning. The sun’s a faint smudge. I hear a caroling from inside the house: a friend calling to tell me it’s snowing there.
Back to brown, except for the ribbon of snow left by the plow. The hungry cat creeping across the yard freezes at every rustle of the wind.
Rain-dark trunks gyrate in the high winds. Branches rattle and clash. The trees are like sleepwalkers; I watch with my heart in my throat.
Fog drifts through the woods where rain has reduced the snow to archipelagos. Overhead the clouds, too, are breaking up. Low-flying geese.
I watch a porcupine waddling toward the porch in my camcorder’s small screen, how the spines move as its fat flesh jiggles. Rain on the way.
A cloudless sunrise. Snow lingers on the west-facing hillside, hard and ugly as guilt. For the first time in months, a bluebird’s song.
Warm and windy. I’ve been staring at the same dim star for five minutes now. The roaring on the ridge drowns out every other sound.
Titmouse, screech owl, pileated: three ways to ululate. Orange-bellied clouds below the eaves which are festooned with dangleberries of ice.
At dawn, watching one race across open ground from bush to bush, it hits me, why rabbits have been so scarce: the deer ate the briarpatches.
1°F. A breeze feels as sharp as the studded rim of the sun rising through the trees. The call of a cardinal like an engine trying to start.
At first light, some large animal crunching through the snowpack at the woods’ edge. It slows, stops. I wait for daybreak: nothing there.
At half-light, small explosions of wings and twittering from around the side of the house as birds leave their roosts in the cedar tree.
Tracks left yesterday morning have grown blurry and distended. Every weed and grass stem is a bull’s-eye at the center of a pit.
Clear at sunrise. The squeaks of courting squirrels are almost indistinguishable from the squeaks of the trees, rocking in the warm wind.