February 2024

Red dawn with a moon like a searchlight sinking into the powerline cut. The cardinal debuts a new call with what sounds like a glottal stop in the middle: chee-er, chee-er.

The woods are far more brown than white after yesterday’s warmth. I glance up from my book to a splash of yellow in the clouds, lapsing into another day’s gray.

Overcast at sunrise, but the cloud lid lifts enough for the sun to glimmer through when it crests the ridge. Saturday’s snow is looking threadbare—a disintegrating shroud over the not-yet dead.

Through two hats and a hood, the wind’s bitter whisper reaches my ear. Odd moans and creaking sounds issue from the trees, whose dark silhouettes stretch between two absences. Then first light and the cooing of doves.