Freezing rain and sleet have turned the snow as rough as a lizard’s skin. A wren hops through the lilac, poking at the ground with his bill.
Three mourning doves disturbed by a foraging squirrel take flight. Like fast notes blown on a shakuhachi, the whistling of their wings.
A high-pitched barking at sunrise. Three lost dogs come running through the mountain laurel, metal tags jangling around their necks.
The croak of a raven followed by a tree popping in the cold, loud as a gunshot. A chickadee flits through the branches of a birch, singing.
Dozens of juncos flit through the bushes. The old brown retriever that I’m dog-sitting watches from the porch, her nose quivering.