At first light, a rare glimpse of a rabbit below the porch. I can hear the ice shattering as it chews on a clump of dead brome grass.
A skim of snow on the ice: dangerous magic. Branches rattle in the wind, and there’s a new, nearly constant creak. The white sky brightens.
From the other house, the sound of an unfed avian mob. Four goldfinches land in the ice-covered tree in front of me and cock their heads.
Overcast and still, apart from the nasal calls of nuthatches. The few remaining spots of snow resemble nothing so much as blotches of mold.
Long before daylight you can hear it coming, this first Monday after New Year’s, loud with the whine of truck tires on the interstate.
So quiet, I could be in the middle of nowhere: nothing but the slow trickle of the stream and the gurgling of my belly. A few faint stars.
Too dark yet to tell if the sky is overcast or clear. Wind soughing in the pines. The rapid footsteps of a leaf skittering up the driveway.
Leaden sky. The loud whisper of a jet. Squirrels scuttle through the white fur on the leaf litter, searching for memories of buried nuts.
The New Year so far is clear and quiet. Up past the old garden, a pileated woodpecker drums high then low, switching from branch to branch.