Cold and still. Just as the half-moon‘s light begins to fade, a screech owl trills from the pines, as if to prolong the night.
One degree above freezing as the tall pines fill with sun. Two crows emerge from the woods, yelling about some old deer guts that must be just thawed enough for breakfast.
The ground is white again. Bright spots in the clouds that could be moon or dawn. The deep breathing of the pines.
The one-time slush pile in the yard looks hard as a wind-dried bone. The tall pines sigh in their sleep. I begin to lose feeling in my toes.
Bright sun; the snow on the porch has shrunk to the railings’ shadows. That special word for wind in pines, sough: putting the ow back in sigh.
Through my thick hat I can hear wind hissing in the pines, the moan of an amorous squirrel, a tree popping from the cold—loud as a gunshot.
Just above freezing but it feels like a day at the beach—sun on white sand, a steady breeze, the surf-like hiss of pines, a jay for a gull.
The snow nearly vanished overnight, and the bare patches of moss are shockingly green. The pines sigh and whisper like strangers at a party.
Sunny and cool. Two crows drive a third out of the pines with a low-in-the-throat noise that would sound threatening in any language.
Sunny and cold. Wind hissing in the tops of the pines. The scattered calls of chickadees and nuthatches foraging at the edge of the woods.
High winds. The chairs huddle together at the end of the porch. Oak trees rattle; the pines roar. A sparrow flies into the wind, chittering.
Thin fog. Two wood thrushes skulk around the edge of the yard. A crow finds something hiding in the pines and tries to raise an alarm.
Trees rock and sway in the wind—still the quiet wind of winter, hissing only in the pines. The startled flute of a mourning dove’s wings.
In the Sunday morning silence, I can hear the wind reshuffling fallen leaves half-way up the ridge and the long sighs of the pines.