‪The usual bird calls—cardinal, titmouse, red-bellied woodpecker—but something seems off. It’s the clouds, coming from the wrong direction.‬

‪So many chipmunks are racing about at the woods’ edge that after watching them for a while, I begin to feel itchy. A crow clears its throat.‬

‪Warm and still. Out of the corner of my eye, a pileated woodpecker slipping behind a tree. Distant howl of a train car’s misaligned wheels.‬

‪Weak sunlight. Dead leaves are all a-rustle, rummaged through by squirrels, voles, chipmunks, juncos. The distant cry of a maybe killdeer.‬

Cloudless and still. Sun gleams on the laurel under the trees. I hear the crunch of footsteps on the gravel road from a hundred yards away.

‪Another too-warm morning: late April without the warblers. Three dried oak leaves launched into flight by the wind circle like doomed hawks.‬

‪Unseasonably warm. The sun catches on glass disinterred by frost heaving. From the valley, the cheerful pops of a semi-automatic rifle.‬