A woodchuck waddles down the road, pausing every few feet to poke its head into the weeds. A fawn bleats up in the laurel. The sun goes in.
A couple degrees above freezing. The snowpack has softened, and the squirrels chasing back and forth through the laurel hardly make a sound.
Cold, gray morning. I inventory the remaining spots of green: moss, grass, mountain laurel, pine, a rosette of thistle outlined in frost.
The opening day of rifle season. Deer run back and forth through the laurel—each shift of the wind must bring a different human’s stink.
The urgent grunts of a buck in rut chasing two does through the laurel, their movements easy to follow now that the trees are nearly bare.
Through every opening in the wall of woods, white mounds glow in the dim light: mountain laurel at its peak of bloom, the best in years.
Hours of hard rain have brought out the green in tree trunks and branches, in laurel leaves, in moss. Even the fog has a slight green cast.
Cold, clear, and still. Three dark silhouettes of deer half-running, half-dancing through the laurel with the sun-flooded powerline beyond.
Hard rain. Under a monochrome cloud ceiling, the colors are intense: laurel green, tree-trunk sable, dried-grass yellow, leaf-litter rust.