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.
It’s snowing. A pileated woodpecker drums twice in Margaret’s yard: a resonant timpanum. Then sleet: rapid brushes on a taut skin.