The resident naturalist emerges from the woods, white slacks and dark blue coat a perfect camouflage against the new snow and blue shadows.

Overcast. A train whistle coming from the wrong direction. The resident naturalist stops at the corner of the wall, gets out her hand lens.

Sunny and cold. My mother starts up the trail into the woods with her pant-legs tucked into her socks against the plague of deer ticks.

Fingers of sunlight stretch across the yard. The resident naturalist climbs the trail into the woods with the aid of a long thin stick.

Rising late, I get a faceful of sun. I watch the resident naturalist’s blaze-orange vest and cap appearing and disappearing among the trees.