Did it really rain hard last night, or did I dream that? The creek seems no louder. High against the clouds, a small hawk flaps and circles.
The almost Kabbalistic way a few syllables of thunder have birthed a whole lexicon of torrent. Fog takes a heavy eraser to the trees.
Above the roar of the creek, the first phoebe, phoebe, phoebe. Harlequin ladybirds are emerging from the walls of the house and flying off.
Sunrise: a glimpse of yellow from beneath the lid of clouds. Goldfinches flutter down to drink from the stream’s thin fissure of open water.
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.