Windy and cold (40F/5C). A sudden outpouring of Canada goose music. The sun comes out from behind the only cloud.
Clear at sunrise but with enough high-altitude murk to turn the western ridge red. A lone goose flies over, honking.
Tundra swans just below the clouds heading east over the house, their ethereal flutes. Three minutes later, a south-bound flock of geese.
Mercury rises just as the stars begin to fade. A jet flies under it. A lone goose flies over it. I look away and lose it in the dawn sky.
A red-tailed hawk dives at a squirrel just as I come out. Then woodwinds: a V of geese followed by tundra swans. The first killdeer’s cry.
The oaks are twice as naked as they were yesterday. From above the clouds, a single clarinet note that might or might not be a Canada goose.
Mizzle: the wet feet of a cloud that slowly settles over the glowing trees, the lone, anxious jay, the clarinet voices of wild geese.
Clear and still. I notice with some sadness that the goldenrod meadow has faded. A large, loud V of geese goes over, heading north.
Low cloud ceiling. Three flocks of resident Canada geese go over the house, one after another, in formations as disorderly as their cries.
Scattered honks from an unseen traffic of geese above the clouds. It’s warm. The mourning doves are finishing each other’s sentences.
A fresh half-inch of snow: the pleasantly arrhythmic dripping of meltwater on the porch roof. Three Vs of geese go fluting overhead.
Back from the south to cold air, to old snow sagged and wrinkled. Mingling with traffic noise, the voices of non-migratory geese.
Five Canada geese who’ve never seen Canada fly low overhead—half a V. Five minutes later, a proper V of tundra swans, high, whistling north.
As if in answer to the stream’s soprano babble, the bugling of migrant geese, their V breaking and rewriting itself as they pass overhead.