After yesterday’s melting, the snowpack is a maze of wrinkles. The ridge turns orange. A hundred robins appear in the yard.
Overcast at sunrise. The cak-cak-cak of a Cooper’s hawk beginning to think about courtship and nesting, somewhere up in the snowy woods.
Bone-achingly cold. A squirrel navigating the tulip tree walks on the undersides of snowy limbs. Sunrise stains the western ridge blood-red.
Bitter cold (-16°C) and still. The rising sun appears in a tiny gap between the trees as if this is all we’re allotted, this bristly thing.
Sunrise and the clouds turn pink as the waning crescent moon turns pale. A squirrel way up in the woods begins its trek to the bird feeder.
Bitter cold. Clouds hide the sunrise, but the crows still herald it. The squirrels appear to be staying in their nests.
The first stripe of sunlight to make it through the woods follows the 200-year-old colliers’ trail. In thin snow, the cuneiform of sparrows.
Just after sunrise, the side of the ridge where fresh snow is sheltered from the wind turns pink, until the clouds close in with their flaming bellies.
A few minutes till sunrise; the wren sounds impatient. But the clouds are heavy—overflowing, in fact. It’s light enough now to see the flakes.
Out before sunrise, I watch the sky on the weather app switch from black to blue in less than a heartbeat. Then the slow blood-reddening of the ridge.