The whisper of sleet falling on sleet. A snowbird bursts from under my chair where it must’ve been foraging and joins the rest of the flock.
Low sun on the western ridge where new-fallen snow still clings to the trees: that startling white against a blue-black bruise of clouds.
I watch a squirrel diligently disinterring a walnut from the frozen earth and think, no. I identify with the crow, its harsh denunciations.
Yesterday’s snowfall has been sleeted and rained on, turning the hollow from a soundproofed room into an echo chamber for traffic noise.
The morning after the end of deer season and an inch and a half of new snow covers the evidence—the gut piles, the trails of blood and hair.
The sun is a bright nipple in milk-white clouds. On the ground, a new, thin fur—what deer hunters like to call a good tracking snow.
A few snowflakes scud past. The dried blades of cattail next to the springhouse rattle and hiss. A dead leaf on the road flips over.
A few seconds of sun. The Carolina wren pops out from under the porch and sings on top of the wall, bobbing up and down on his clown feet.
The predicted snow is a no-show. A squirrel races up the dead elm, pokes its head in the den hole, and hurries back down. What has it lost?
A hawk glides north along the ridge, a dark eyebrow sliding over the gray sky. Behind and below my chair, something is gnawing at the house.
A curtain of drips from the season’s first, thin snowfall. The sun comes out from behind a club—an autocorrected cloud with a dark history.
A distant gunshot. A crow. The rumble of a freight train. On a gray day without shadows, any dark thing reminds us of the sun.
Outlined against the sky, the birch with its finches like leaves animated by separate winds. A downy woodpecker rattles in the cherry snag.
Cold and overcast with a lighter gray patch where the sun might be. The nasal calls of a nuthatch. A distant mob of crows.