Just audible over the wind: a junco’s chitter. Leaves lift off from the newly melted forest floor and join a harried flock of snowflakes.
Flakes in the air and the barest fur on the ground, like a leaf’s glaucous bloom. A low-key chattering match of nuthatches 100 yards apart.
A few flakes in the air. A gray squirrel wanders through the lilac branches, scattering a pair of juncos. The squeaky calls of finches.
Snowflakes sail past like far-flung voyagers. On the otherwise lifeless tansy stalks, a green sprig harbors a single, yolk-colored bloom.
A scurf of snow in the north corner of the porch, and more flakes in the wind. A chickadee puffs out its feathers, fat as a baseball.
Wind-whipped snow. I imagine a pep-talk in the cloud nursery: You’re a star! You’re unique! And no mention of gray mounds in a parking lot.
Windy and cold. Six-legged stars bloom on my jeans, standing out against the faded black where the ticks of autumn had been so camouflaged.
Fire engines wailing through the gap, air horns, the frantic melisma of ambulances. The wind blows snow against my cheek—pinpricks of cold.