Solstice sunrise turns the western ridge red as an altar. A brown creeper fishes in all the dark valleys of the walnut tree’s bark.
I arrive on the porch at the same time as the sun: the first blazing quills top the ridge and a sneeze begins to prickle behind my nose.
Five below zero Celcius at sunrise. A single kinglet flutters in the birch—its whispery chirps. The fourth-quarter moon’s thin grin.
A succession of anxious or querulous calls—nuthatch, crow, Cooper’s hawk, pileated woodpecker—until sunrise reddens the western ridge.
At 52 degrees, hornets are already going in and out of their gray globe in the weeds. I watch the sunrise by inference on the western ridge.
A chipping sparrow foraging below the porch at sunrise flits up to a branch with a beakful of fine, gray, nest-lining material: my own hair.
Yellow at daybreak: forsythia, daffodils, the spicebush by the springhouse, a flock of goldfinches… what else? The sun crests the ridge.
Sunrise, and a red-winged blackbird calls twice: sound like a blood-shot sun half-submerged in dark feathers, part trill, part gurgle.
Rain from what must be thin clouds. The sunrise glow lights up a deer at the wood’s edge, bright as litter against the brown leaves.
Tundra swans at sunrise—their ethereal flutes, their shining white forms—are trailed by a local Canada goose and the crescent moon.
Sunrise. A bluebird sings from the electric line, and suddenly it feels 25 degrees warmer. A ragged V of geese, too low to be migrants.
Cloudless and cold. Listening to the underground stream gurgle through a hole in the yard, I think about my Chinese teacher from long ago.
Cold and clear at sunrise. Two ravens following the ridge croak in unison, their wings almost touching. A squirrel descends the springhouse.
Clear at sunrise, and just two degrees below freezing. A squirrel in the treetops touches its snout to the light’s leading edge.