Late morning, and it’s still not fully light—the clouds are too heavy. The sound of rain on the dry leaves like fat sizzling in a fryer.
Warmish. The sound of squirrel teeth chiseling into a black walnut. The red plastic hooks where hummingbird feeders hung shine in the sun.
Down in the old corral, a song sparrow sings the first part of his song and stops, twice. The cronk of a raven flying just below the sun.
A skim of wet snow came in with the cold front. The big dial thermometer shivers on the wall—vibrations from the furnace under the floor.
Clouds slowly vanish in the blue—like my own puffs of breath, but slower. Chickadees; a nuthatch. The forest floor goes from glow to shine.
After a windy night, the whole horizon is visible beyond the trees. I watch one of the last oak leaves float down, rocking, taking its time.
A hollow, rasping grunt: either a raven or a buck in rut. The pileated woodpecker cackling in flight falls silent as soon as she lands.
With birds, a cold and overcast day isn’t gloomy. Their bright chirps and taps. The flashes of white when slate-colored juncos take wing.
Faint mist in the woods as last night’s frost burns off in the sun. At the edge of the meadow, birds scold something hidden in the weeds.
The damp silence inside a cloud, broken only by a pileated woodpecker’s muffled tapping and the distant caw of a crow.