Sunny and still. The thermometer needle inches up toward 0°C. A sudden thump: a squirrel on an oak limb dislodging a large piece of ice.
The icy trees have been dusted with snow, which still sticks in the wind when they make a sound like the dry grinding of snails’ teeth.
Tossing my apple core out for the squirrels, it thuds and skitters across glare ice. The usual birds with the usual calls; a bit more echo.
The thermometer’s arrow nudges past 32 in the sun, but the wind’s still cold, and the damp soil at the woods’ edge glitters with needle ice.
The sun burns through high clouds. A gleam in the stream from a clump of sedge where spray has made an ice-fingered claw open to the sky.