A wren calls under the porch. It’s five degrees below freezing. An inversion layer brings the whine of tires over the ridge, red with sunrise.
Clearing sky after a brief snow squall. The ridgeside, slick with leaves of slowly fading colors, shines like a salamander in the sun.
A blank gray sky, this time of year, is the easiest kind to read: snow, it says, in a slowly accelerating tumble of pure punctuation.
Cold and gray. Goldenrod seed heads like white-haired old men nodding and whispering far-fetched conspiracy theories about a coming winter.
Clouds scudding against clouds, and here and there faint suggestions of blue: a clearing wind, complete with the obligatory exultant raven.
Two degrees above freezing, with the sun reduced to a bright smudge by a thin wash of cloud. Juncos and a nuthatch forage at the woods’ edge.
Dawn comes with a light breeze rummaging through the oaks, a freight train laboring up the valley, the tutting of robins.
Dawn silence. A distant Carolina wren. I’m standing outside in my PJs enjoying the relative warmth (38F) when I spot the first cloud in days.
Yet another bright blue October day a month late. The scarlet oak Dad and I planted 25 years ago is in its glory, redder than the sunrise.
A scrap of hornets’ gray paper by my chair. Sunlight catches a dead dame’s-rocket below the porch, seed pods reduced to pure gesture.
Cold and very still. Every leaf in the myrtle patch—Grandma’s legacy—is edged in white. Sunrise stains the western ridge blood-red.
A lone crow like a town crier repeating the same bit of news: how the rising sun, newly naked, is ablaze beneath the crowns of the oaks.
25F degrees at dawn. A bat flies low over the meadow as the white-throated sparrows tune up. Frost-encrusted blades of grass seem to glow.
First frost, and the thinnest small boat of a moon riding low on the horizon with the bright darkness of its cargo.