After days of a heavy inversion layer, it’s quiet at last. The snow’s gone. From a hole in the yard I can hear water trickling underground.
A thick fur of hoarfrost on everything near the stream. A mile or two away, someone is firing off dozens of rounds on a semi-automatic.
The sun’s slow fadeout. Two male cardinals travel together to the stream and back again—flashes of color in an increasingly monochrome yard.
Overcast and cold. One by one the birds fly down to the stream, hop around, drink, fly up, and sing. Snowflakes blow past. A tree groans.
As if in answer to the stream’s soprano babble, the bugling of migrant geese, their V breaking and rewriting itself as they pass overhead.
Last night’s torrential rain has given way to wind, sunlight shimmering on the flooded stream and the waxy leaves of mountain laurel.
The creek is high and loud. I try to film the fog but it retreats. The sky appears behind the trees as if blinds had just been pulled.
Another snowfall. The small hole in the yard that leads to an underground stream remains open, like a breathing hole for seals in sea ice.
The fast scrabbling of claws on black locust bark: another squirrel’s in heat. Dead grass blades along the stream are rococo with hoarfrost.
An almost unearthly calm, punctuated as ever by birds: woodpeckers, counter-singing wrens, a flock of juncos drinking from the dark stream.