Rain on asphalt shingles, rain on corrugated tin, rain on twigs and branches, rain on the road, rain on three months’ worth of grainy snow.
Both ridges vanish into fog. A squirrel missing the end of its tail disinters a black walnut from the frozen earth.
A red-tailed hawk dives at a squirrel just as I come out. Then woodwinds: a V of geese followed by tundra swans. The first killdeer’s cry.
The Cooper’s hawk lands in the yard and the doves scatter—a cacophony of flutes. He flies off east where the icy snow is a blaze of white.
After yesterday’s melting, the snowpack is a maze of wrinkles. The ridge turns orange. A hundred robins appear in the yard.
Overcast at sunrise. The cak-cak-cak of a Cooper’s hawk beginning to think about courtship and nesting, somewhere up in the snowy woods.
Snowstorm. The hammer-blows of a pileated woodpecker on what must be a very hollow dead tree. How annoyed I’d be if it were a human sound!
Bone-achingly cold. A squirrel navigating the tulip tree walks on the undersides of snowy limbs. Sunrise stains the western ridge blood-red.
Large, compound snowflakes drifting this way and that. A titmouse suddenly begins darting after them, hovering and diving like a flycatcher.
Four more inches of dry powder. The stream has shrunk to the thinnest black ribbon between white cliffs—a body that refuses to be buried.