A Carolina wren yells from the balustrade while his mate rummages around inside the old hornets’ nest. The sky slowly turns white.
Overcast and bitter cold. A Carolina wren comes out from under the house and rummages in the dry leaves behind the oil tanks.
Something has been ripping into the old hornet’s nest on the porch ceiling: pieces of its gray paper litter the fresh snow. A wren flies in.
The sun grows and shrinks as the clouds change in thickness. Two wrens pop out at once from under the porch, one on each side—vociferous.
Snowstorm. A Carolina wren pokes along the side of the house under the porch roof, right above my head. Sometimes it’s good to be ignored.
An almost unearthly calm, punctuated as ever by birds: woodpeckers, counter-singing wrens, a flock of juncos drinking from the dark stream.
Dawn. A Carolina wren drops like a ninja from its roost in the old hornets’ nest. The sky between the ridgetop trees turns to blood.
Warmish and almost sunny, with mist between the trees. The chickadees and wrens are denouncing something hidden in the small hollow maple.
On the snow-covered log beside the stream, the baby’s-handprint tracks of raccoons. A wren above the water burbling in counterpoint.
Where the stream fans out beside the springhouse, birds hop down the snowbanks and into the water to bathe: sparrows, juncos, Carolina wren.