Screech owls at dawn—a wavering duet. Winged shadows meet for a second in mid-air, then perch in adjacent treetops, ruffling their feathers.
Sun behind the trees. A chickadee singing its “charee-charup” song—or so it sounds to me, whole layers of meaning hidden from primate ears.
Sleet falling into dry snow: a quiet metallic rattle, like robots whispering. My father bursts out onto his porch, hooting at the squirrels.
It’s snowing: fine, dry flakes. A squirrel falls out of a tree. Two chickadees drop into the bridal wreath bush to settle a score.
After yesterday’s high winds, the trees have a number of new complaints. 2°F. From up around the feeders, a endless wittering of finches.
A gray squirrel sits back on its perch to watch a V of geese. Then it leans forward, embracing the trunk, to nibble on the sweet birch bark.
Snow. A male cardinal lands in a birch tree, and the woods behind him suddenly seems so much whiter. Finches ride tall weeds to the ground.
Barely audible over the stream: claws on bark, slow footsteps. A porcupine’s round shadow crosses the yard and squeezes under the porch.
Up too early, I’m greeted by a new darkness, the snowpack reduced to a tiny patch on the driveway. The gurgle of water. White noise of wind.
Ground-level clouds appear and disappear in the half-dark; even the thermometer is fogged up. Over the roar of the stream, a robin’s song.