Cold and mostly clear. A pileated woodpecker riot of one vents its fury in a glowing, golden canopy of chestnut oaks.
Gray in the west, yellow in the east, blue overhead. A tiny sharp-shinned hawk lands in a yard tree and only one squirrel bothers to scold.
Warm eddies mingle with the cold. A flock of sparrows moves through the meadow, singing, twittering, setting the goldenrod heads asway.
In the big oaks tossing in the wind, finally some splotches of color. A freight train’s out-of-tune horn blows a chord unknown to music.
Goldfinches repopulate a leafless birch and sit eating seeds. From the east, the sound of the quarry’s crusher, its breakfast of stones.
Sun through thin, high clouds—light for a much milder morning than this one in which periwinkle leaves glitter with melting hoarfrost.
The wind persists, and now that the walnut trees are bare I can see the aspens by the marsh, their perpetually agitated crowds yellowing up.
Over the wind, the twittering of chickadees trailing a flock of kinglets into the birches. Two brown creepers appear on adjacent trunks.
Cloudy and cold. The soft back-and-forth of sparrows flitting between woods and meadow. The distant keening of an ambulance.
Snowflakes backlit by the sun. Unlike rain they don’t just fall; they fly. A strip of bark is draped over a birch twig like a spare tie.
After last night’s storm, all the birches and maples at the woods’ edge have lost their bright leaves, the oaks beyond still a sombre green.
The tulip poplar sapling in the yard glows in the sunlight, a golden column. A honeybee buzzes around the empty light socket above my head.
The barberry beside the stream is turning from the inside out: under a green cloak, salmon pink, blood-red beads, the hurdy-gurdy of a wren.
White-throated sparrows move through the dead meadow, roaming musicians with one tune between them, the air above suddenly full of leaves.