Amorous squeaks of squirrels. A small fissure in the clouds approaches the sun and the frozen landscape brightens for half a minute.
Bitter cold. Clouds hide the sunrise, but the crows still herald it. The squirrels appear to be staying in their nests.
Leaden sky. The hollow echoes with the drumming of pileated woodpeckers. Two soon stop, but the one with the most resonant tree bangs on.
Just after sunrise, the side of the ridge where fresh snow is sheltered from the wind turns pink, until the clouds close in with their flaming bellies.
A few minutes till sunrise; the wren sounds impatient. But the clouds are heavy—overflowing, in fact. It’s light enough now to see the flakes.
The last small cloud melts away. A white-breasted nuthatch calling: such an anxious sound, but who knows? Perhaps it’s a song of exultation.
The sky is a blank slate. High in the trees, a squirrel emerges from its ovoid nest, looks around, and goes back in.
A partly sunny sky turns to gloom—the reverse of my mental state as caffeine kicks in. The wren’s call begins to sound less agitated than jubilant.
Two degrees above freezing, but it feels balmy. I try to guess the sun’s position by the relative brightness of thin spots in the clouds.
Heavy cloud cover. A flash of red from a male cardinal cutting through the yard. Gray heads of goldenrod almost shine in the gloom.