Bright spots in the clouds disappear as quickly as they appear. Fire siren. A magpie rattles at the wind.
A phoebe lands on a branch and flicks his tail, not fooled by the passing resemblance of scattered, zigzagging snowflakes to flying insects.
Dead leaves rise from the forest floor and go scuttling back and forth in small flocks. A few ascend to the sky—just beginning to clear.
Each morning arrives with a fresh coat of snow, but today’s is threadbare. For a minute or two, the wind is whiter than the ground.
Small flakes sting my cheek; ice-bound trees squeak and groan. From the feeder up at my parents’ house, the happy chatter of snowbirds.
New snow blown about by a bitter wind. A red-tailed hawk struggles to gain altitude, mocked by a blue jay doing its best hawk scream.
Titmouse, chickadee, wren. I squint into the sun. The bitter wind rattles the cover of the magazine beside me—which, I notice, is Rattle.
The wind that shook the house all night has dwindled to an occasional gust. An inch of snow plasters the porch and the east sides of trees.
Silence broken only by the wind for many minutes, until the fire alarm goes off in town: once, twice, three times rising from moan to wail.
The monotonous chant of a tufted titmouse. Clouds move in and seed the wind with small, round snowflakes, giving it another way to bite.