In the half hour it takes the first red cloud to become a sunrise, every crow in the area has a suggestion. Even a distant rooster weighs in.
After last night’s wind, the sky is clear, the forest has finally lost almost all its leaves, and there are several new creaks and groans.
Foggy and damp on the last day of regular firearms deer season. The limbs of the old crabapple glow blueish green with lichen.
Finches cluster high in a black birch, gorging in silence. A squirrel digs up a walnut and re-buries it on the other side of the road.
Hard frost. As the sky reddens, the meadow comes alive with chirps and trills. A milkweed pod’s frozen spill of gossamer.
Rising late, what have I missed? The sky is white and the air is dead still. There’s no snow. The usual birds are making their usual sounds.
Cold, overcast, and nearly still: my clouds of breath drift sideways, leading my eye to a half-shell of black walnut, its empty brain case.
Warmish. The sun almost emerges through thinning clouds, heralded by chickadees foraging high in the black birches at the edge of the woods.
A vast Sunday-morning silence broken only by mourning dove wings, the soft taps of a downy woodpecker, and the grumbling of my stomach.
Clear except for two contrails, fuzzy with age. Another scrap of gray paper has fallen from the old hornets’ nest, its lines blank as ever.
Clouds with blue veins and sunrise bellies. Two nuthatches trade harangues. A crow summons other crows to—I’m guessing—a fresh gut pile.
It’s damp and warmish. A red-bellied woodpecker comes silently rocketing out of the woods. The creek remains mum about last night’s rain.
The first day of meteorological winter. It’s warm. I-99 is barely audible. The sound of teeth on walnut shell alternates with scold-calls.
Another day, another snow: fat flakes coming down just thickly enough to be mesmerizing, turning the ground blank again. A gun goes off.