A cold wind. The first holes have appeared in the golden wall of leaves at the woods’ edge, the winter-white, ridgetop sky leaking through.
Another cool and cloudless morning. The hollow echoes with the croaks of ravens. A pileated woodpecker taps on the side of my house.
Bright morning after a cold night. One katydid still stridulates, seemingly in dialogue with a blue-headed vireo—two slow, three-beat calls.
White-throated sparrows call among the weeds. A pine warbler yellow as a birch leaf lands on the railing next to my feet and cocks his head.
The walnut tree next to the road is stripping in the wind, its leaves flying off in great yellow gusts. The steady ticking of a chipmunk.
A sharp-shinned hawk keeps chasing flickers in the yard; they yell at the effrontery and circle right back each time. A wren chatters alarm.
Falling birch leaves whirl and tumble through shafts of sunlight. The sine wave of a squirrel crossing the road’s ancient macadam.
A pool of light among the shadows of the yard: morning sun reflected from an upstairs window. Mare’s tails drift overhead. A phoebe calls.
Sunshine for the first time in days. Filmy-winged insects drift in and out of the shadows where a blue-headed vireo sings its dreamy song.
Another gloomy day brightened by a mixed flock of birds foraging at the woods’ edge, visitors tagging after locals to find the best spots.
Cold rain blowing sideways. The walnut trees behind the house have shed their leaves, unveiling a still-heavy ordnance of green orbs.
Cold, overcast and dreary. A warbler on migration-layover darts through the porch, inches from my face—a flash of black and yellow.
In the green and yellow woods, here and there a red branch. But the kinglets in the birches hide their ruby crowns under olive-green shocks.
After the rain, a drying breeze, shrinking the wet spots around the leaves strewn across the porch floor. Yellow tips rise. Edges flutter.
I wake from a dream of a pub that served nothing but wheat beer to endless rain on yellow leaves: birch and elm, walnut and tulip tree.
As leaves begin to flutter in the rain, I notice the small birds fluttering underneath them, like a flash mob that was there all along.