It’s very cold; the tall locust at the woods’ edge creaks with ice. A woodpecker taps on the topmost limb, silhouetted against pink clouds.
Cold, gray and windy. The peony sprouts, up early this year, are still at the point of just untwisting their skinny red fists.
Cold—the porch floorboards pop under my feet. Real snow at last! The rising sun stretches two faint fingers across the driveway.
I bring no hat brim or sunglasses to my front-porch tete-a-tete with the sun, grateful on such a cold morning for any display of warmth.
Wind-driven snow; I draw my hood tight. On the wall behind me, the thermometer’s big red arrow inches left like a clock running backward.
Bitter cold. An hour before dawn, something crunches briefly in the brush and is still, as if turning over in its sleep.
Just two degrees below freezing, yet somehow things are sharper, crisper, the crow’s wings like blades against the blue, its shout a shot.
Bitter cold at sunrise. A distant F-16: that high, harsh sound of something being torn. A few small clouds hurry off toward the sun.
Intense cold, and a stillness so deep the trains can barely be heard. A cardinal flickers like a pilot light under the bridal wreath bush.
The return of the cold has saved the last, handkerchief-sized patches of snow. In the east, a silent jet trails the smallest of wakes.