A crow flies off cawing and returns silently to the same tree. In the garden, comfrey leaves have begun turning face-down into the earth.
Another cloudless morning. Sunlight glints on abandoned spider and caterpillar silk in every tree and between them—a threadbare garment.
At 5:15, I’m startled by the dark sky, the closeness of the stars. At daybreak, seven deer stand within a stone’s throw of the porch.
Late morning, I take a break from crisis management to watch a hungry groundhog, his pelt shining brown and orange and silver in the sun.
A Carolina wren breaks the silence, bobbing up and down on the peak of the springhouse roof: one side frosty, the other steaming in the sun.
A hard frost softens the edges of leaves and blades of grass. The witch hazel blossoms beside the house have curled into woolly fists.
While oak leaves spiral into the yard, six vultures tilt and pivot high above, searching for an updraft, then turn and drift on south.
Last week’s snow has shrunk to a scattering of patches the size of dinner plates. Crows yell back and forth above the din from the highway.
I listen closely to the sparrow calls, trying to hear the white-crowned’s pink, and sit long enough to watch the hoarfrost turn to shine.
Traffic through the gap is loud this All Saints Day morning. Sunrise reddens the western ridge, and a thin mist rises from the snow.