Yet another clear, still morning. The light-drenched forest of almost-winter. Outraged crows answering the raven’s chant with their own.
Clear and quiet except for the soft click-clack of oak leaves, slipping through a gauntlet of bare branches on their way to the ground.
Deep blue sky. A squirrel is making unusually exuberant, risky leaps from tree to tree, flinging herself into space, trusting in twigs.
Mackerel sky like a furrowed brow. One, three, six blue jays descend on the feeder. The squirrel flees. One jay screams like a hawk.
My brother pauses in the yard to talk about the waves of migrant birds I’d missed by sleeping in, his face strangely lit by reflected light.
The bird feeder’s up; chickadees rejoice. One pauses to wipe its bill on a bare branch. A red-breasted nuthatch darts in and out, squeaking.
The first snow—a light dusting on the porch and in the yard. Oak leaves take to the sky. A hawk hurtles past in the ridgetop wind.
The tulip tree next to the springhouse is nearly bare, its last few leaves waving like four-fingered cartoon hands as the sky darkens to rain.
Clear and cold. A sound like a cat mewing, then a creaking door: just a jay. The sun pierces the thinning forest with one gimlet beam.
Five minutes after I check the weather app to verify it’s going to stay cloudy, the sun comes out. The damp forest glistens like a salamander.