On a cloudless, quiet mid-morning after a heavy frost, the ground remains white only in the shadows. A single orange leaf falls from the tall tulip poplar, spiraling slowly down into the dead goldenrods.

First frost here and there like someone’s first white hairs. I crunch through it en route to the top of the field to watch the dawn approaching from 50 miles away.

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.

Heavy frost in the yard. I scuttle about preparing for a scheduled seven-hour power outage that never comes. My tea grows cold.