Cold rain; the snowpack is in tatters now. At the top of a locust snag, a gray squirrel’s tail waves and twitches like a mad flag.
Small clouds rise from the decaying snowpack and drift off through the trees. In the yard, a vole’s tunnel system is beginning to emerge.
The snow has gone slushy, turning the hollow from a soundproof room into an echo chamber. Over the traffic noise, a junco’s cadenza.
Patches of bare yard dug up by deer. Patches of blue sky which the sun now and then pops through. The drip drip of meltwater from the roof.
The sound of two trains approaching a crossing at the same time—their unplanned duet. I study the tracks in the yard, looking for groundhog.
Snow fine as fingerprint powder; it’s almost zero. Two cardinals and a jay in the crabapple tree wait their turn to drink from the spring.
Through my thick hat I can hear wind hissing in the pines, the moan of an amorous squirrel, a tree popping from the cold—loud as a gunshot.
Take one polar vortex. Add westerly winds, seasoned lightly with snow. Stir in some birds and trees. Heat with a star 93 million miles away.
Another snowfall. The small hole in the yard that leads to an underground stream remains open, like a breathing hole for seals in sea ice.
The fast scrabbling of claws on black locust bark: another squirrel’s in heat. Dead grass blades along the stream are rococo with hoarfrost.