Gray and still. A robin sings softly for a change. Two whitetails below my mother’s back porch bound up the hillside and out of sight.
Clear and cold. Frost glitters in the low-angled sun. The miniature daffodils are frozen in positions of prayer.
Crystal-clear and still. Two pileated woodpeckers a quarter mile apart are having a drum-off. The rising sun sneaks up behind a tree.
Rain easing off by mid-morning. The sun comes half-way out in the mirrors of raindrops dangling from branches, the forest like a pop-up gallery of miniature suns.
Sunrise into thin cirrus. A few seconds of liquid joy: the song of winter wrens, two of them, darting low over the creek.
Robins have joined the dawn chorus to dramatic effect; the hollow’s echo chamber throbs with birdsong. The first vulture of the day soars past a pink-bellied cloud.
A brief lull in the rain at dawn, darkness full of the sound of rushing water and the dim shapes of the first daffodils, face-down in the dead grass.
Gray and still. Springs gurgle their liturgies. Looking nervously all about, a squirrel disinters a walnut and races into the woods with it.
Fog and scattered showers. The last few woodcock peents overlap with phoebes—two of them already, trying to out-sing each other.
Cold and gray. Up in the corner of the field, a tom turkey raises and lowers the dark banner of his tail, gobbling at his own magnificence.
A cloud-free morning, the sun through the trees just bright enough to fool my body into feeling warm. A mourning dove’s song sounds reassuring: There. There. There.
Clear and cold. All the while the sunrise seeps down from the treetops, a squirrel files away at a rock-hard black walnut shell to extract meat seasoned by months underground.
A dozen dead leaves circle the yard as the clouds’ bellies turn orange. A phoebe calls once, sotto voce, from a branch above the creek.
The sun guttering below a lid of utility-gray cloud illuminates a small flotilla of snowflakes. It’s quiet apart from one, highly excited wren.