Frozen trees rasp in the wind. I think of a song I once heard about a dictator where the fiddler scraped the strings with his fingernails.
Between gusts of wind, the burble of a Carolina wren. Two ravens veer low over the trees, croaking, pursued by a pair of crows.
Before dawn, nothing but wind and trains. In the crown of a birch, Venus burns so fiercely, even the fast-moving clouds can’t extinguish it.
I don seven layers of clothing to sunbathe on the porch. My chair has slid to the northeast end, its back to the prevailing wind.
An impossible butterfly dances past the porch: a shred of oak leaf. The trees creak and groan in the bitter-cold wind.
Sun! And clouds thinning to snow-gauze on their leeward sides. A junco tries to fly into the wind, turns sidewise, lands with a chirp.
The hissing of the wind blends with the sighing of my furnace. I wonder how far away this latest drift was born. Is it Pittsbugh’s snow?
That first snow still cloaks the frozen earth. When the wind dies, I can hear the 75 finches at my parents’ birdfeeder, a twittering bedlam.
High winds stir the trees like surf, a dead branch crashes every few minutes, but the small birds still forage, twittering in the birches.
One gusty day, and the forest is full of new sounds: here a squeak, there a moan, like an orchestra of broken instruments tuning up.