Cold. With the heavy inversion layer, a jay in the yard who sounds as if he’s practicing scales must compete with the whine of tires on I-99.
Overcast and cold. A squirrel is picking up fallen black walnuts, removing their rotten husks, and burying them in the half-frozen yard.
Sun leaking from a cut in the clouds that soon heals shut. Now a heavy grayness. The pines hiss like respirators.
A cold front roared in overnight. Now the wind has dropped and the clouds are clearing out. Tall goldenrod stalks shake their gray heads.
A break in the gloom as a thin spot in the clouds crosses the sun. Two squirrels locked in combat fall 20 feet to the ground like an enormous fruit.
Backlit by the rising sun for the first time since early May, when the forest behind it leafed out, the old French lilac looks newly green.
The oaks are twice as naked as they were yesterday. From above the clouds, a single clarinet note that might or might not be a Canada goose.
Dark and wet. Puddles merge and flow on the driveway, rain stippling them like a mad monk writing O, O, O in invisible ink.
Clear and still. An hour after the dawn fog lifted, a new, thinner mist appears—fog droplets evaporating off the trees.
Yet another clear, still morning. The light-drenched forest of almost-winter. Outraged crows answering the raven’s chant with their own.