Last night’s ice has melted, but the rain continues. A song sparrow sits in the barberry bush, gorging, emitting a chirp after each berry.
Staccato sounds: the distant drumming of a pileated woodpecker, a white-breasted nuthatch’s agitated call, rain tapping on the roof. Again.
It rained so hard last night, I dreamed the mountain had turned into a lake. Now it’s merely drizzling. Small birds forage in the treetops.
It’s our local Christmas Bird Count, so every drip of cold rain or moving shape off in the fog might be a bird. But none are.
Thick fog, returning to the forest its foreignness—the sense that any sound could be a footfall, that the rain is a many-legged beast.
Fog moves back and forth over the snow as the rain thickens. Two hunters emerge, a girl and her grandfather—blaze-orange among the gray.
A raven flies over the house, croaking. I keep wiping droplets of mist off the glossy pages of the book I’m reading about the holocaust.
Rain again. This is the dreariest, drabbest autumn I’ve ever seen—except for the moss and tree-bark lichens, which have never been brighter.
Now that I can see the quaking aspens, through bare walnut branches, I can hear them too: their constant whisper. Gauzy rain. A train horn.
Hard, steady rain—yet somehow certain small, filmy-winged insects still manage to fly. From the woods’ edge, a towhee’s eponymous call.