From over the ridge, a patrolman’s amplified voice, his words unintelligible. A blue jay does his best impression of a red-tailed hawk.
I stare bleary-eyed at a chickadee darting through the lilac, listen to dueting wrens. The sun, too, is blurred by a kind of mucous.
Feathery contrails outline a wedge of blue. On a high branch, three mourning doves sit facing the sunrise. The middle one preens its wings.
Frozen trees rasp in the wind. I think of a song I once heard about a dictator where the fiddler scraped the strings with his fingernails.
Between gusts of wind, the burble of a Carolina wren. Two ravens veer low over the trees, croaking, pursued by a pair of crows.
So quiet, the downy woodpecker tapping a dead branch sounds as loud as a pile driver. High overhead, the half moon like a big right ear.
A few flakes in the air. A gray squirrel wanders through the lilac branches, scattering a pair of juncos. The squeaky calls of finches.
Before dawn, nothing but wind and trains. In the crown of a birch, Venus burns so fiercely, even the fast-moving clouds can’t extinguish it.
Geese go over in a mob, flying this way and that. A flock of juncos at the woods’ edge rises and falls to the rhythm of its own wind.
A dark morning, with grim news awaiting me in my email. A fox squirrel crosses the snowy yard, the mellow flame of its tail floating behind.
Solstice sunrise turns the western ridge red as an altar. A brown creeper fishes in all the dark valleys of the walnut tree’s bark.
A flurry reveals the secret weavings of the wind, spreads a shroud over the porch, and litters my propped-up legs with cryptic asterisks.
The cattails’ broken blades are white with rime. Two juncos flutter up under the springhouse eaves, investigating the empty phoebe nest.
A dark bulk approaches through the dawn woods: upright, bipedal, enormous feet crunching through crusted snow. My brother, back from owling.