Aberdeen, Maryland to New York City, January 4, 2015

★ Rain first splatted, then pattered, in the dim morning. Fog filled in the woods. Birds chattered and trilled; wings flashed white against the darkness of sunflower hulls. Little round chickadees bounced from cane to cane of the dormant trumpet vine. The boards of the porch were slick with water and damp greenness. By lunchtime the rain had dwindled to drips and some of the fog had lifted, multiplying the wet dark lines of the tree trunks, though the sky was as gray as before. An unseasonable warmth had moved in. From the bridge over the Susquehanna, a sickly pink banded the afternoon sky, above the hills and the false hills of cloud. Fog still hugged the little rivers just inside New Jersey. Long after the rain was over, a wet shine clung to the concrete barriers and the faces of bridges. Manhattan came on in a would-be golden hour the color of ash. At last, at sundown, sudden stripes of clear pink and robin’s-egg mustered in the west. The breeze after dark was dry and pointed, but then deeper in the night came the splatting of rain again, and a slashing sound of wind.