Overcast with the temperature right at freezing and a faint new dusting of snow. Crows and a raven trade insults up on the ridge.
A partly sunny sky turns to gloom—the reverse of my mental state as caffeine kicks in. The wren’s call begins to sound less agitated than jubilant.
Cold and glittery. The stream has subsided to a quiet gurgle, and the nuthatch’s response to his tree is more of a comment than a question.
Two degrees above freezing, but it feels balmy. I try to guess the sun’s position by the relative brightness of thin spots in the clouds.
It’s less frigid this morning. The mockingbird overwintering in the barberry hedge next to the shed lands on a branch in the almost sunshine.
The thermometer’s big red arrow is at -10°C. A downy woodpecker works the wood’s edge, exploring the bases of trees, chirping loudly.
A bitter wind salted with snow. I spot an orange ornament on a lilac branch: a jelly ear fungus, too pretty to eat, sporting a tiny icicle.
White sky and white ground meet in a blur of fog. Above the drumming of rain on the roof, a white-throated sparrow’s minor-key song.
Out before sunrise, I watch the sky on the weather app switch from black to blue in less than a heartbeat. Then the slow blood-reddening of the ridge.
After a night of light rain, the snowpack has shrunk, revealing a microtopography of logs, pits and mounds—bones under the skin of an elder.
Solstice. The porch is littered with scraps of paper from the old hornets’ nest—a prized spot for wrens to spend long winter nights.
It’s snowing. A squirrel carrying a walnut leaps from limb to limb, trailed by a cascade of powder, and disappears into a hollow oak.
Cloudy and cold. A cardinal perched in the lilac sings softly, barely opening his beak. The sound of a freight train laboring up the valley.
Overcast and cold. Juncos hop down the snowy streambanks for a drink. A female cardinal flies past—the extra red in her open wings.