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.
As if the slow December daybreak weren’t sufficient reward for sloth, today’s band of clouds in the east extend the sunrise almost to 9:00.
The temperature has dropped again. A clearing sky, and the woods are flooded with light from the newly reflective surface of the snowpack.
Dark clouds. Steady drum of meltwater. A locomotive with the low note of its whistle stuck open like a bagpipe drone moans through the gap.
A couple degrees above freezing. The snowpack has softened, and the squirrels chasing back and forth through the laurel hardly make a sound.
A lowering sky, gravid with bad weather. Across the road, small birds crowd the stream, which makes a hollow gurgle under the icy crust.
The wind has died at last and the sun inches through the trees, appearing to chew into each side of a fat trunk as it slides behind it.