If I hold my head perfectly still, I can watch the sun move through the winter woods, climbing from limb to limb toward the untrammeled sky.
Clear sky, bright sun, and the temperature well above freezing. A crow’s shadow scuds over what’s left of the snow like a dark promise.
A steady hum of traffic from over the ridge spoils the pre-dawn quiet, just as the snow on the ground sullies the darkness.
Bitter cold. An hour before dawn, something crunches briefly in the brush and is still, as if turning over in its sleep.
Finally, a good facsimile of a winter morning: enough snow to cover the grass, and on the window a tangle of stitches etched in frost.
First snow of the new year: thin as the flaking whitewash on the old springhouse. Two hikers and a dog each wear vests of safety orange.