An unfeasibly large number of chickadees foraging along the woods’ edge, calling, singing, dangling from black birch twigs like mutant fruit.
Cold, gray, and still. Two squirrels attract small followings as they wander over the snowpack, a sign of seasonal heat building within.
A mixed flock of winter birds flitting though the yard. The mockingbird comes flying over the house and joins them at a half-frozen seep.
Cold and gray—the weather, but also me. A sharp-shinned or Cooper’s hawk comes flying low over the trees, clearly keen on getting breakfast.
The last small cloud melts away. A white-breasted nuthatch calling: such an anxious sound, but who knows? Perhaps it’s a song of exultation.
Clear and still. The tree’s long shadows stripe the white hillside like a zebra. Below the porch, a cat’s footprints.
A pileated woodpecker banging its head, crows denouncing a raven, a chicken cheering for her latest egg… the local dinosaurs are restless.
Cloudy and cold. The sound of crows trying to call up a mob. A squirrel perched on a high branch scratches behind its ear with a hind leg.
The mockingbird in a bush beside the stream chases off other birds coming in to drink. A squirrel with only half a tail plods over the snow.
Yesterday evening’s new-snow magic has completely dissipated, replaced by the familiar bleakness and a drip drip drip on the porch roof.
Snow sky. Sparrows move through the meadow. A squirrel climbs a witch hazel, seemingly to verify that its pods have expelled all their seeds.
A pause in the rain. My snow-plowed mound has turned to slush, which makes an interesting feature for a writer’s front yard: a literal slush pile.
The sky is a blank slate. High in the trees, a squirrel emerges from its ovoid nest, looks around, and goes back in.