A snow flurry turns into a squall, and all the birds fall silent—even the Cooper’s hawk. The ground is white in minutes: an onion snow.
Cold rain. I tap the thermometer and it drops another two degrees. The rattle of sleet gives way after a few minutes to the silence of snow.
Fat snowflakes fall on the daffodils’ down-turned cups, while a towhee chants—according to the time-worn birders’ mnemonic—Drink! Drink!
Dawn. A phoebe and a cardinal are singing in the rain. At the woods’ edge, the last patch of snow has shrunk to the size of a hubcap.
The last patch of snow is sinking into the earth. A titmouse flits from branch to branch up a walnut sapling, whistling softly to himself.
Another gray day. The only snow left is what the plow mounded up, the earliest dating back to before Christmas: literal snows of yesteryear.
Snow is gone from the north side of the springhouse roof; the stream has a whole new range of notes. Up by the barn, a phoebe is calling.
On the northwest-facing hillside, the snow has shrunk to patches overnight. A robin sings here and there as if testing the acoustics.
A few hours into March and the wind starts to gust. On south-facing slopes, scattered splotches of bare ground like an incipient rash.
Rain on asphalt shingles, rain on corrugated tin, rain on twigs and branches, rain on the road, rain on three months’ worth of grainy snow.