Juncos foraging in the yard are puffed up twice as round as usual. The way we describe extreme weather: why not a heat snap, a cold wave?
Snowstorm. A cardinal sits atop a small tree, his red plumage almost glowing among the white branches. Two woodpeckers tap in and of sync.
Steady snow from clouds thin enough for the sun to glimmer though. My pants legs are flecked with flakes small and round as grains of salt.
I can hear a titmouse tapping at a sunflower seed 100 feet away. A truck drives up the unplowed road—the squeak of the snow under its tires.
Snow falling from an almost clear sky: scintillations small as pin-pricks drifting on the icy breeze. The crisp chirps of foraging juncos.
Sun-glare on the snow; a bitter wind. A crow mob up on the ridge disperses, only to return a half hour later to whatever they’re tormenting.
Christmas has come like a vengeful spirit, roaring on the ridgetop, plastering the weather sides of trees with snow. A Carolina wren’s song.
Sun through cloud—enough to make the leaf duff shine in the woods. A chipmunk rustles. The distant squeal of a misaligned wheel on a train.
Steady rain. The fog retreats 100 yards up the hillside without seeming to move, trees like a flash mob suddenly emerging from anonymity.
The neighbor’s rooster crows a few times and falls silent, as if appalled by the gloom. Even a chickadee manages to sound querulous.
Clear and very still. Frost’s fine needlework on the dead grass in front of the springhouse, where a wren keeps up an agitated chirping.
Colder, with a brisk wind. The forest has developed a new creak, somewhere in the vicinity of the cloud-shrouded sun. It squeaks. It moans.
The snow nearly vanished overnight, and the bare patches of moss are shockingly green. The pines sigh and whisper like strangers at a party.
One degree above freezing and the hillside echoes with traffic noise. Meltwater drips from the roof, polyrhythms going in and out of sync.