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.
One mound of November’s snow has survived into 2019. I’m watching a brown creeper but hearing a nuthatch—and all the voices of the stream.
A dark dawn. The sound of water gurgling off to the right and trickling to the left, and in front of me the silence where it flows underground.
On the snow-covered log beside the stream, the baby’s-handprint tracks of raccoons. A wren above the water burbling in counterpoint.
The western ridge shines golden against dark clouds for a few minutes before the sun goes in. A gunshot. The gurgling of the stream.
Clear, cold and very quiet, expect for bird calls and the trickle of the stream. Since I’m late in rising, a leaf has taken my seat.
The big dead elm has collapsed into the stream, its rain-slick bole broken in two places. A drenched phoebe hawks insects in the grass.
November 1st, and the stream’s gurgle sounds somehow different. A Halloween ladybug wanders the rectilinear wilderness of a porch column.
The rain has stopped but the creek keeps singing like a drunk going home from a party. The sun comes out and all the house’s windows fog up.
Home! A migrant wood thrush softly calls over the roar of the rain-swollen creek. In the big tulip tree, a squirrel is building a drey.
The sound of water has returned to the mountain. Trees wear dark suits of rain embroidered with lichen. In every puddle the same blank sky.
The creek has shrunk to a slow procession of vowels, monotonous as any interior monologue. From above the clouds, the rumble of a jet.
Weak sunlight and the creek’s quiet gurgle. I think of the dead deer up in the field, her throat torn open by coyotes, feeding their songs.