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.

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.

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?