The traffic noise is deafening; even the crows are hard to hear. The air starts to shimmer with what Chinese call maomaoyu—fine-hair rain.
Sunny and cool. Two crows drive a third out of the pines with a low-in-the-throat noise that would sound threatening in any language.
So many chipmunks are racing about at the woods’ edge that after watching them for a while, I begin to feel itchy. A crow clears its throat.
Fog gives back to the forest those soft edges and sense of distance that were lost when the leaves came down. Rain taps on the roof. A crow.
Drizzle on snow—a phrase that, moved to the kitchen, sounds almost enticing. Christmas has come early for a crow excited about the compost.
I watch a squirrel diligently disinterring a walnut from the frozen earth and think, no. I identify with the crow, its harsh denunciations.
A distant gunshot. A crow. The rumble of a freight train. On a gray day without shadows, any dark thing reminds us of the sun.
Cold and overcast with a lighter gray patch where the sun might be. The nasal calls of a nuthatch. A distant mob of crows.
A huge number of crows hanging out in the treetops at the woods’ edge—not mobbing anything, just being crows, arguing, sharing, kvetching.
Two crows tail a small hawk on a high-speed chase through the trees, twisting and turning. It loses them and climbs into the clouds.