Snowstorm. The porch, too, has been erased, except where some small bird’s meandering footprints have exposed the blood-colored floor.
Every cloud brings a scatter of snow. I gaze at the sun’s bright smudge, remembering a 38,000-year-old depiction of a cow stippled in stone.
Male cardinals bathe side-by-side in the stream, then resume chasing. A jay perches in a dogwood bush shaking the water from his wings.
A few, wandering flakes slowly build into a snow squall. From my parents’ back porch, the “towhee” call of a towhee that hasn’t gone south.
A skim of snow. A jay monitored by three fierce chickadees gives that red-tailed hawk scream—the one that signifies an eagle in the movies.
The last trace of snow has gone again. The sky is blank. What kind of January is this? Trees rock back and forth like traumatized refugees.
A clearing wind accompanied by Carolina wren song. At the woods’ edge, moss is already emerging from yesterday’s snow, greener than ever.
The black-and-white simplicity of a fairy-tale snow that clings to every dark twig: a fragile magic that never lasts beyond eleven o’clock.
A small hawk flies through the forest in steady rain, perches in the crown of an oak for several minutes, and flies on. The wind picks up.
The clouds that settled in yesterday haven’t lifted, their slow drift barely perceptible through the shifting clarity of the trees.
Fog like a soundproof room. As always, the dead cherry’s five splayed stumps are giving the middle finger to the road—to whatever comes.
Blue jays jeering in the steady rain. In January. One more thing that doesn’t feel right on a day when the world is out of joint.
An echoey call of a Carolina wren sounding like an old-fashioned telephone. The yellow spot in the clouds that marks the sun slides shut.
Two ravens hang high against the clouds without flapping a wing. Two more appear and attack, croaking, and all four soar off to the north.