Heavily overcast, with the background rumble of industry: a whole Monday-after-Christmas mood. A raven’s hoarse commentary.
The lacework of branches against the sky, with the half moon high overhead. A pileated woodpecker cackles. A small cloud’s belly turns pink.
Little is audible over the drumming of the rain but a train horn—and of course the Carolina wren, sounding as insistently joyous as ever.
Moonlight fades but the driveway glows even whiter: a new quarter-inch of snow. The sky is clear. Treetop goldfinches start to chatter.
Overcast and cold. A chickadee foraging at the woods’ edge sings his fee-bee song. A sudden scrabbling of squirrel claws on locust bark.
Patches of blue sky; occasional snowflakes. What appears to be a butterfly fluttering through the treetops must be a dead leaf.
Solstice, and the ground is white with frost. The stream has subsided to the quietest of gurgles. Assorted chirps from sparrows and the inevitable wren.
Power outage at -9C. Moonlight gives way to dawnlight with the purring of a generator. It lugs down and I know my mother must be making breakfast.
Full moon gone in, I feel snowflakes on my face, their almost clinical touch. The sound of a train. The springhouse roof turning white.
Steady rain and fog at one degree above freezing: bad luck for our Christmas Bird Count. Over the rain I hear crows, nuthatches, a chickadee.
Mid-morning sun through thin clouds. A wren calls in one direction; goldfinches in another. The yard’s only mullein stalk trembles in the wind.
Clear at dawn. The extended gargle of a jake-braking truck. A crow flies silently overhead and returns a minute later with its call.
Patchy frost: the myrtle leaves that are dusted with it versus those that just have white edging. A chickadee is getting the gang together.
A Carolina wren heralds the dawn from atop the springhouse roof, his mate counter-singing—as ornithologists call her answering Shhhhhh!