Both ridges vanish into fog. A squirrel missing the end of its tail disinters a black walnut from the frozen earth.
A red-tailed hawk dives at a squirrel just as I come out. Then woodwinds: a V of geese followed by tundra swans. The first killdeer’s cry.
Bone-achingly cold. A squirrel navigating the tulip tree walks on the undersides of snowy limbs. Sunrise stains the western ridge blood-red.
Tentative footsteps at the edge of the porch, first from a gray squirrel, then a Carolina wren, each obviously annoyed by my presence.
Fine snow begins to fall. A squirrel is leaping through the treetops as if on some other white powder. Wakening nuthatches compare notes.
Sunrise and the clouds turn pink as the waning crescent moon turns pale. A squirrel way up in the woods begins its trek to the bird feeder.
The advanced scouts for a promised snowstorm. A squirrel gallops across the porch roof and back, sounding like a very small, unshod horse.
Amorous squeaks of squirrels. A small fissure in the clouds approaches the sun and the frozen landscape brightens for half a minute.
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.