Frost in the yard. How many tender young leaves will collapse and blacken at the sun’s touch? A goldfinch warbles in the treetops. A raven gargles.
Below freezing at sunrise, but a breeze seems to have staved off frost. Will oak flowers survive? Will wildlife thrive or starve? So much depends on one or two degrees difference now.
Clear and cold. Frost glitters in the low-angled sun. The miniature daffodils are frozen in positions of prayer.
Daffodils are out of the ground around the old dog statue, the surrounding yard moldy-looking from the light frost. A distant bluebird.
Still air and a heavy frost. A pair of ravens fly side by side over the porch, one calling like a crow—falsetto—the other like a death rattle.
Cold and very clear. My shady yard is a refuge for last night’s frost. A feral cat emerges from under the house and gives me a baleful look.
The frosted meadow glitters in the sun. A scrabbling of squirrel claws on bark. Off to the south, a raven croaks; to the north, crows.
Heavy frost in the yard. I scuttle about preparing for a scheduled seven-hour power outage that never comes. My tea grows cold.
Pale columns of sky all along the ridge. Frost as white as my breath. A rising tide of chirps and trills as sunrise draws near.
One degree above freezing at sunrise. A breeze reshuffles the walnut leaves on the porch. I find small patches of frost up by the barn.
As the sun rises, it descends from icy treetops to hoarfrosted lower branches. It’s quiet. The dial thermometer’s pointer jumps from 8 to 10.
Bitter cold. A garlic mustard skeleton hanging over the small hole in the yard that goes down to an underground stream is shaggy with frost.
Zero degrees. Sun through bare branches—a shining fur of hoarfrost. Two ravens fly in low and circle my mother’s house.
Solstice, and the ground is white with frost. The stream has subsided to the quietest of gurgles. Assorted chirps from sparrows and the inevitable wren.