Cold and overcast. Snowflakes almost too light to fall wander like miniature spacecraft reconnoitering in advance of a full-scale invasion.
The rooster’s call is still all wrong—despairing rather than jubilant. An airplane engine drops in pitch as it fades into the distance.
The slow, silent drift of a contrail. Juncos silhouetted by the sun have silver linings, a fact of which they must surely be oblivious.
A persistent knocking from inside the tall cherry stump. I walk around it: a downy woodpecker’s wingtip protrudes from a roosting hole.
In the weak sun, a violent sneeze possesses me. It echoes off the hillside, sets a squirrel to scolding. A pileated woodpecker drums.
The sky is clearing, the low-angled, mid-morning sun illuminating the woods for minutes at a time. Finches in the birches. A distant raven.
The hillside crowd of trees swaying and churning. In the gray sky, blue wounds open. I can hear my mother shouting a greeting to the sun.
Fog. In the absence of the usual noise from quarry and factories, I can hear every grunt and groan of the trucks jake-braking on I-99.
A steady shimmer of rain. Wet tree trunks glow gray-green with lichen, and the lilac looks festive with its orange strings of dead bindweed.
Frost on the grass like mildew. An echoey rasping sound that can only be a squirrel chiseling at a black walnut shell inside a hollow tree.
Jays, crows, and a raven: the solstice soundtrack. When I open my laptop, a red bead of a ladybug is huddled among the black keys.
Christmas Bird Count! Crow, junco, white-throated sparrow. Three chickadees, two nuthatches and a cardinal. Nothing in the damn pear tree.
Overcast and dreary. The neighbor’s rooster is drowned out by a train, its air horn blowing an almost perfect minor chord.
Colder, with a flat white sky and the ground lightly seasoned with snow. A lone nuthatch zigzags and spirals up the trunk of a tall locust.