A gray squirrel sits back on its perch to watch a V of geese. Then it leans forward, embracing the trunk, to nibble on the sweet birch bark.
Very cold. The woods seem unusually lifeless, and there’s a new creaking sound with every breeze. After a while, I realize: no squirrels.
Not all natural sounds are pleasant, not all industrial sounds are ugly: the train whistle sounds so much better than a scolding squirrel!
The tops of the birches still sway where a squirrel passed through half a minute before. Went in town yesterday, and I’m still seeing faces.
Wind. No birds, no squirrels, no highway or railroad noise; just wind. And the feral cat, looking for breakfast in every swaying covert.
Two squirrels chasing around the trunk of a tulip poplar so quickly, I swear there’s a third. Whose tail is whose? Which one is in heat?
With the ground white, squirrels are visible hundreds of feet up in the woods. And when I shut my eyes, the trees reappear on my eyelids.
A lull in the storm, and it’s quiet—no sound of trucks or trains, no Sunday drivers. Squirrel scold-calls echo off the ice.
Overcast and misty. Beyond the scolding squirrels, a cooing cry I can’t place. I’m absurdly pleased with the echo when I break wind.
Clear and very cold. I hear squirrel teeth on walnut shell. The Carolina wren’s happiness motor turns over once, twice, then putts to life.