A wren calls under the porch. It’s five degrees below freezing. An inversion layer brings the whine of tires over the ridge, red with sunrise.
Cold and very still. Every leaf in the myrtle patch—Grandma’s legacy—is edged in white. Sunrise stains the western ridge blood-red.
25F degrees at dawn. A bat flies low over the meadow as the white-throated sparrows tune up. Frost-encrusted blades of grass seem to glow.
Two degrees above freezing with a dull gray sky—very Novemberish. Except the trees aren’t bare, the oaks yet to reach their peak of color.
Cold rain. I tap the thermometer and it drops another two degrees. The rattle of sleet gives way after a few minutes to the silence of snow.
Bitter wind. Up in the woods, sun glints off an old jar the frost heaved up. When I go to fetch it, ice colonnades crumble under my boots.
An hour before sunrise, the bitter wind says winter but the creek says spring. The moon’s gone flat, but is still as bright as a false dawn.
Bone-achingly cold. A squirrel navigating the tulip tree walks on the undersides of snowy limbs. Sunrise stains the western ridge blood-red.
The least gloomy morning in more than a week—and also the coldest. A single-prop plane goes in and out of sunlight, trailed by its sound.
Bitter cold (-16°C) and still. The rising sun appears in a tiny gap between the trees as if this is all we’re allotted, this bristly thing.
Another bitter cold morning. A few snowflakes wander back and forth as if lost. The resident naturalist picks her way down the icy trail.
Bitter cold. Clouds hide the sunrise, but the crows still herald it. The squirrels appear to be staying in their nests.
Cold (-10°C) and quiet, save for my mother’s periodic hollering at the squirrels on their back porch. My clouds of breath rise straight up.
The one-time slush pile in the yard looks hard as a wind-dried bone. The tall pines sigh in their sleep. I begin to lose feeling in my toes.