Shadows lose their sharp edges as thin, high clouds move in. Where the coyote chorus sang last night, now only the distant howls of children.
Gray sky gravid with bad weather. On either side of the road, the tall grass trembles: foraging chipmunks.
Sun through thin clouds. Dame’s-rocket in the meadow keeps growing to extend the bloom: a slowly rising, purple mist.
The black cherry blossoms are already fading, and the sun is going from dandelion-yellow to dandelion seedhead-white. Black-billed cuckoo.
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.