In the midst of a near white-out, a crow caws, and the chickadees keep twittering. I shake snow from a tissue to blow my nose.
Shutting my eyes alternately against the glare, I discover that the trees’ shadows are only blue in my right eye; they’re gray in my left.
The only spots of bare earth are in the plowed driveway. When I stand up, they erupt in wings, seeding the snowy yard with brown sparrows.
The creek has shrunk to a black ribbon between white canyon walls. A cardinal fluttering up from a quick bath shakes loose a shower of snow.
The wind has allowed only the biggest limbs to hold onto their snow. I can see them far off through the woods—white bridges to nowhere.
Sound, like the rest of the weather, is out of the east: plow trucks, slow-moving trains, a dog barking on and on at the falling snow.
Two below zero. A squirrel races through the front garden, belly-flops into the yard below, and makes it to the woods in eight bounds.
It’s cold. A few, desultory flakes drift down from a half-clear sky. The trees’ long shadows fade in and out.
The wind has been busy, sweeping the new snow to the corners of the porch and half-burying the few tracks in the yard, which include my own.
Snow fine as dust—I notice it first as a slight shimmy in the trees. A plump mourning dove’s tiny head swivels from side to side.