White sky, white noise from the highway over the ridge. The goldfinches wake all at once, a querulous babble of squeaky wheels.
Rain drumming on the roof. A single bar of white-throated sparrow song, and then the factory whistle dividing the dawn from the day.
A pair of ravens fly low over the house, invisible in the fog. I’m lost in thought about trickster gods, and right on cue: Arrk! Arrk! Arrk!
My left thumb itches, but nothing wickeder than a nuthatch materializes. The sun comes up.
White on green: the lilac bush heavy with yesterday’s snow. Chickadees bicker, working out a pecking order that will last until spring.
A doe trailed by a scrawny 5-point buck. The soundtrack includes a train, a raven, geese, a wren, and a low-flying plane with a wide eraser.
Dawn finds the first snow — a faint dusting. It’s very still. Down in the pines, a screech owl quavers. The slow footfalls of a deer.
From 6:00 to 6:30, it’s quiet except for the distant whine of truck tires and the wind in the treetops, more rattle than rustle now.
Wind and rain have stripped the birches and maples at the edge of the woods. A gray squirrel leaps through the bare branches.
Venus and the fourth-quarter moon stand close together, shining through the treetops as I drink my coffee.