Snow falling fast in silence. A song sparrow pipes up with what generations of birders have heard as “Hip hip hurrah, boys, spring is here!”
Snow. I’m just in time to watch the ground disappear. The woods’ edge slowly reverts to winter calligraphy: broad brushstrokes of white ink.
The tail-end of a storm that brought snow, sleet, freezing rain, and snow again. The trees look like they’ve been dipped in confectioner’s sugar.
Snowstorm. The hammer-blows of a pileated woodpecker on what must be a very hollow dead tree. How annoyed I’d be if it were a human sound!
The snowstorm over, it’s quiet, except for the wind. A cardinal shelters in a barberry bush, as red as the berries had been.
Half-way through a slow snowstorm. The birds seem restless. First a titmouse, then a nuthatch land on the edge of the porch to tell me off.
Cold and still at sunrise. With more than a foot of new-fallen snow, the woods’ edge is an asemic text already being edited by squirrels.
The slow, steady accumulation of dry snow. A raven flies low over the trees with something in its beak. A squirrel’s short-lived footprints.
Snowstorm. A Carolina wren pokes along the side of the house under the porch roof, right above my head. Sometimes it’s good to be ignored.
Between storms, the sound of traffic. Between the white ground and the white sky, fog, and the haute couture of snow coating every tree.
It’s the absence of sound that makes a snowstorm so disquieting. A squirrel plows its way through snow-laden treetops—a slow-moving cascade.
An ashen sky, gravid with snow. The field sparrow’s back: that song that sounds like rising excitement (or alarm, depending on one’s mood).
Pileated woodpecker drumming in a snowstorm—so loud, so outrageously red—here and gone. While the wet, methodical snow doesn’t miss a twig.
Snowstorm. A cardinal sits atop a small tree, his red plumage almost glowing among the white branches. Two woodpeckers tap in and of sync.