At the woods’ edge, the yellowest birch seethes with small birds—kinglets, I think. But by the time I fetch binoculars, the tree is still.
A series of high-pitched snorts from a deer up on the ridge. Coyote? Bear? Or—imagine the horror for an herbivore—an attack of hay fever?
A low cloud ceiling imposes gloom and silence, save for the closest chirps. A nuthatch, normally querulous, sounds downright neurotic.
The walnut trees are already losing their leaves, turning into grotesquely well-hung skeletons a-tremble with squirrels.
A meadow vole takes an after-death journey into the forest in the jaws of a cat, who holds her head high for once and does not slink.
A morning so clear, the half moon looks close enough to touch. A squirrel still spooked by some long-gone predator has yelled itself hoarse.
The guys arrive promptly at 8:00 o’clock to put a new roof on the porch. We stand around talking for 20 minutes about lead-core bullets.