A rabbit wanders back and forth in the half-light of dawn—a nervous eater, hunched around its hunger. When it freezes, it almost disappears.
Dawn light turns everything briefly to gold: house, trees, the three deer that run a short way into the woods and stop, nostrils flaring.
The clouds part just above the horizon, where a weak sun glimmers like a bonfire among the skeletal trees. Distant shots ring out.
Dawn gives a rust-red belly to the clouds. Over the stream, I’m astonished to hear the ethereal notes of a hermit thrush song.
Another warm morning. A Carolina wren pops out of the bridal wreath bush like a rabbit from a magician’s hat and ascends the lilac, singing.
The heavy frost melts quickly, even before the sunlight reaches it: the grass glistens. I am thinking for some reason about paperless books.
The ground is still saturated from Tuesday’s rain. Through the hole in my yard, the sound of the underground stream’s insurgent song.
A pile of fresh dirt at the woods’ edge: a groundhog has dug a den under the roots of a poison ivy-throttled maple. Will he itch all winter?
Fog. High in a skeletal birch, the silhouettes of ten goldfinches are almost the right size for leaves, moving in their own slow wind.
No wind, but some slight motion of the air brings the sound of trucks and the sour smell of sewage up the hollow. The first drops of rain.
Warm and overcast, with the smell of rain. A sudden gust pulls a flying crow sideways. A squirrel digs pretend holes in the yard.
Bare ground in the herb bed has risen into spires—a city of frost. A downy woodpecker booms like a pileated on a hollow limb.
Just two degrees below freezing, yet somehow things are sharper, crisper, the crow’s wings like blades against the blue, its shout a shot.
Indian Summer is over; it’s cold again. A squirrel bending over to groom its genitals tumbles off the branch and lands on the next one down.