A few snowflakes wander to and fro in the wind. From the flooded patch of ground next to the springhouse, the scattered chirps of birds.
Where the stream fans out beside the springhouse, birds hop down the snowbanks and into the water to bathe: sparrows, juncos, Carolina wren.
A blue jay flies across the sun, wings momentarily turning white. I see that the Virginia creeper on the springhouse roof has gone rust-red.
Steady, fine snow—the kind that means business. A rabbit dashes across the springhouse yard and disappears into the crown of a fallen tree.
Clear and very still. Frost’s fine needlework on the dead grass in front of the springhouse, where a wren keeps up an agitated chirping.
Chickadees peck at the rapidly disappearing snow on the north side of the springhouse roof. As the ground turns brown, the sky turns white.
Cold and quiet but for the muffled cries of squirrels mating or fighting in the springhouse attic. A dozen snowflakes wander into the yard.
A few snowflakes scud past. The dried blades of cattail next to the springhouse rattle and hiss. A dead leaf on the road flips over.
A jay walks the metal ridge of the springhouse roof, where a tangled mass of Virginia creeper has stretched red tentacles over the shingles.
Cool and extraordinarily clear. With the sun on its gable end, the old springhouse glows like a lost tooth among the dark, swaying cattails.
Two phoebes hawk insects by the springhouse, while Acadian and great-crested flycatchers call from the woods. It’s a bad day to be a fly.
Sunrise, and seven species of birds are calling—but not the phoebe, who flies in and out of the old nest under the springhouse eaves.
The old crabapple next to the springhouse is in full bloom, a mass of shocking pink abuzz with insects. The sharp snap of a phoebe’s beak.
Red-winged blackbirds calling in the fog. The springhouse phoebe appears to have found a mate. They take turns fluttering under the eaves.