Freezing rain on a bed of sleet: like listening to thousands of pins dropping. A nuthatch ascends a tree head-first like a brown creeper.
A rattling rain of ice from the pear tree out back where a squirrel forages. Bird tracks in the snow below the porch end with wing-prints.
A maze of squirrel and sparrow tracks between ice-covered tufts of grass glittering in the sun. Down in the valley, a siren starts up.
The sun! Rising through treetops turned to blazing crystal. The red-bellied woodpecker foraging for breakfast sounds distinctly unimpressed.
Ice storm aftermath: bent trees and broken limbs that couldn’t withstand the sky’s smothering embrace. A tinny rattling when the wind blows.
By 11:00, the freezing rain has stopped and the rain of melting ice is underway—the woods are a-rattle with it. A crow won’t stop yelling.
A fresh cement of wintry mix traversed by chipmunks, tails italic with urgency. Ice-coated branches rock in the wind—a cellophane sound.
Dim sun. Trunks and branches still sheathed in ice glisten, surrounded by duller companions like glitterati on the streets of New York.
The rain has stopped; the forest cracks and crashes. Fallen branches ring the dead cherry, each bearing a row of broken teeth.
The sleet whose ticking woke me at 6:00 has stopped. Five degrees below freezing. I stick out my arm and hear raindrops hitting my sleeve.