March 2011

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.

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.