Later, I heard for the first time a different night bird, this one a warbler of some sort, whose call is reminiscent of a flute played through a bubbling fountain. I have no idea what species this bird might be, either, but it only sang for half an hour or so, and then fell silent or moved on. The first bird, though, continued to call until past midnight. By then, as I had hoped, the clouds had begun to disperse, and, lit by the emerging moon, fled away like rumpled curtains being drawn back, revealing the deep, polished blue expanse through which the liberated moon passed with its smaller near companion, Jupiter. For a while, a rainbow halo clung tightly to the larger orb, but it soon dissolved and the unimpeded light fell to glimmer on every shiny surface which caught it, so that the forest floor became a brocade of shadows bejeweled with bright leaves of dewy grass.
Once again, vaporous clouds lingered in the far west, and as the moon settled among them, its light streamed out as though reflected in a lake, and all the sky glowed behind the silhouetted pines, while, freed by the diminishing light of their bright competitor, the lesser stars emerged for their brief hour before dawn. Now, twilight reveals a thin fog and the first birds of morning are stirring. I have said goodbye to winter's last full moon, and it is time to sleep and dream of spring.