Sun shining through thin clouds and wind-blown snow. A great wave of happiness sweeps past. In the barberry bush, a cardinal begins to sing.

A section of latticework below the porch floor has fallen off, and though it kept nothing out, I feel strangely vulnerable. A red sunrise.

Bitter cold. A loud creaking from the edge of the woods, as if from an unlatched door swinging in the wind. Snow cover thin as a ghost.

The precipitation changes minute by minute: snow, sleet, drizzle. From the neighbor’s house, the peremptory snarls of a reciprocating saw.

The trees beyond the feeder are dotted with small birds watching every movement of the sharp-shinned hawk as it picks lice from its wings.

A quarter-inch of snow makes the woods much whiter than it would’ve in December, before the leaf duff had been flattened by an icy iron.

Quiet at mid-morning. The sun’s a faint smudge. I hear a caroling from inside the house: a friend calling to tell me it’s snowing there.