August 2012

Blue jays yelling in the treetops. Wind speed is less than three knots, but still there’s a steady shower of yellow walnut leaves.

Around the side of the house, a male goldfinch gorges on spicebush berries—silent for once, as if unwilling to share his find.

Cool and clear except for a few scraps of cloud and a pair of ravens high overhead, their hollow, metallic croaks like steampunk crows.

A pileated woodpecker comes cackling into the dead elm, then quietly gets to work: hop down the trunk a few inches, listen for ants, repeat.

A squirrel hangs by its hind feet to pick a pair of walnuts, drops one, climbs off with the other in its teeth. The day darkens into rain.

A small brown butterfly flutters low over the porch floor, checking out the three brown walnut leaflets, one of which trembles in its wake.