Three inches of sticky snow have turned the trees white and intricate, with many moving parts: sparrows, robins, a blackbird’s creak.
Overcast. A train whistle coming from the wrong direction. The resident naturalist stops at the corner of the wall, gets out her hand lens.
A pair of ducks fly silently through the trees: the mallards who return every spring to nest on the mountain, a mile from the nearest pond.
A little less cold, a little less clear as we inch toward the warm mud of April. The cardinal pays her morning visit to her glassy rival.
The rapid scrabble of claws on bark, that waterfall sound. Three chasing squirrels spiral down the big locust like an animated barber pole.
Clear and bracing, like a shot of vodka. The thirteen cattail heads beside the springhouse sway gently in the dawn light.
Heavy frost, and the bare dirt in the garden has crystallized into icy turrets. Motes of snow float past, backlit by the sun. Robin song.
A thin powder glazes all the logs and fallen limbs—white ships on a brown sea. The high-pitched whistles of waxwings passing overhead.
Cold and dawn-dark at 8:30. The ridge disappears into cloud, allowing me to imagine real mountains—a fastness far from anything but rain.
A turkey gobbles up in the corner of the field, and five seconds later, a turkey vulture soars into view. The sky is an implacable white.