Weak sun. A “v” of northbound swans. Bass notes of a distant thumper car sound almost like a drumming grouse, except they do not stop.
Gray sky, and the air is lousy with snowflakes. The usual birds are making the usual chirps. A train whistle, horrendously out of tune.
Winter’s back! My white plastic stack chair lies upside-down at the end of the porch. The snowpack has gone from quicksand back to granite.
A chipmunk emerges from the base of the stone wall and races over the soft snow. All this rain has brought out the blush in the red maples.
A red sunrise. Loud rending sounds as a gray squirrel peels bark from the dead elm tree in the yard, hanging upside-down like a nuthatch.
Back below freezing. Some four to five inches of snowpack remain, but every tree stands at the center of a dark wheel of melted earth.
A sky of shifting gray. This is basement-flooding weather. I crack out the harmonica, hoping that no one will hear it above the creek.
Rain and fog. A robin drops into the barberry bush, tut-tutting. Up in the woods, two deer stand with their heads buried in the soft snow.
When angels announce the coming of spring, they use flutes: faint calls of tundra swans filter down from above the rose-tinged clouds.
Clear, cold, and very quiet. A distant train whistle is picked up and repeated by a screech owl. The incremental progress of the moon.
An hour before dawn, the new-fallen snow glows yellow with the light from town. The crescent moon appears through a hole in the clouds.
6°F. A patch of weeds furred with hoarfrost alerts me to a hole in the yard I didn’t know about: a burrow? An underground spring?
Keening moans from the hole in the big walnut tree. Then snarls: a squirrel rockets out, falls to a lower limb. The moans grow louder.
Fire engines wailing through the gap, air horns, the frantic melisma of ambulances. The wind blows snow against my cheek—pinpricks of cold.