A cold, gray morning. Up in the woods, a chickadee’s two-note song prompts a cardinal to join in. The sun’s hiding place begins to glow.
Juncos rustle quietly in the leaves beside the old springhouse. The sun spreads out behind thin clouds like a yolk broken in a pan.
The hillside crowd of trees swaying and churning. In the gray sky, blue wounds open. I can hear my mother shouting a greeting to the sun.
An oak up in the woods drops a top limb just as I am looking. The sky is gray and gravid with rain. The limb goes head-first like any diver.
A sharp-shinned hawk flying three feet above the ground arrows up into the woods. The faint hint of sun disappears behind thickening clouds.
The sun slowly dims in the whitening sky. Soft taps of a woodpecker. The flashing orange light on the roof of the meter reader’s truck.
Dark clouds against light clouds. A distant helicopter. A white-throated sparrow’s plaintive song wandering up and down the scale.
Overcast except for a hole where the sun glows like a bleary eye in a socket. A titmouse taps on a windowsill to open a sunflower seed.
Bands of cirrus that might’ve been contrails two hours ago are crossed by a helicopter, ponderous and loud, like an enormous scarab.
A cold morning. Two chipmunks calling 100 yards apart fall in and out of sync. Thin clouds block the sun before it ever reaches the porch.
From just above the ridge, the tremolo call of a loon. I rush to the edge of the porch and scan the lake-blue fissures between the clouds.
Trees sway and gyrate under a blue-gray sky. In a lull between gusts, a lost leaf flutters down out of the clouds. The phoebe calls.
A solid gray sky marred only by the sun’s blurred searchlight. It’s cold. From all directions, the anxious-sounding calls of woodpeckers.
Dark clouds, and a sombre brightness underneath. A few, wet flakes of snow swirl past. Robin song.