A scant inch of snow turned scabrous by the rain and cold that followed it—but still the world glows, the woodpecker’s red head shines.
Frost has dusted just the two rosettes of mullein leaves beside the driveway: enormous white flowers. A cottontail rabbit bounds past.
A brown creeper ascends the trunk of a walnut tree, its jerky scuttling more insect-like than avian. Up on the ridge, a furious mob of crows.
Over the sound of the wind, the opening note of a fire siren. Thin, cold rain flies sideways, mixed with snowflakes. The sun struggles out.
Thin fog, as in the corners of a tintype. It seems too quiet for a Monday morning; traffic on the interstate is a faint, far moan.
It keeps raining and stopping, as if on a movie set. Eight rapid pops: someone firing a semi-automatic. The stream gurgles under the yard.
Thin clouds; the sun is a crayon-yellow smudge. The excited yells of a seven-year-old echo off the ridge. A wren tut-tuts.
A low drone of traffic from over the ridge. Half-blinded by the sun, I see the backlit wings of small birds as sudden flowers opening.
A heavy frost sparkles in the yard. A foot from my chair, the only four walnut-leaf nibs on the porch are clustered in the shape of a rune.
Quiet and cold at mid-morning. The sole large rhododendron up in the woods keeps gleaming and fading as the sun moves in and out of clouds.