A titmouse lands in the cherry, the streak in his breast the same rust as a tree sparrow’s cap, a broomsedge stem, these icicles at sunrise.
Bands of blue move east and close just before the sun can enter them. Once, when the wind dies, it’s completely quiet for fifteen seconds.
The snowpack glows in the soft, mid-morning light. A dog barks in the valley. The resonant knocks of a woodpecker opening a new door.
A skim of snow on the walk is imprinted with winding, parallel lines of arrows like a child’s map of buried treasure, missing only the X.
The wind has scoured the branches clean, but the old concrete dog standing at point in the shelter of the lilac still wears a coat of snow.
Three gray squirrels in a slow-motion chase: this is when they come into heat. The new snow cascades from the branches like wedding veils.
Two chickadees chase through the lilac and end up perched on adjacent twigs, ruffling their feathers—close as any pair of mobster enemies.
I study the twists and curlicues of dried brome grass against the snow. If I knew Arabic, I’m sure I’d find some of the 99 names of God.
Drifting snow, just deep enough to provide cover for voles. A snow dervish rises from the road and travels a dozen feet before collapsing.
The landscape conforms to the snowbird’s body plan: gray above, white below. Feathery puffs wherever a bird lands on a snowy branch.
Dawn unveils a new snowfall light as down, all horizontal limbs redrawn in white like colonies of the horizon. I sit clipping my nails.
In the still air, a small disk of ash falls spinning like a demonic snowflake. The sun smolders on the ridgetop between columns of oaks.
Flakes in the air and the barest fur on the ground, like a leaf’s glaucous bloom. A low-key chattering match of nuthatches 100 yards apart.
It’s still mostly dark when the first faint pink spot appears in the clouds: day advancing like a disease, slow and red. A raven croaks.