A blue-headed vireo on migration sings out of habit, perched near the top of the lilac. The free jazz of non-migrating geese—their ragged V.
It’s cloudy, but the forest understorey glows with autumn color. A phoebe hawks flies from the spicebush, gurgling with satisfaction.
A high-speed chase through the yard—one Cooper’s hawk tailing another. Woodpecker pandemonium. High above, a jet leaves two blank lines.
A bold squirrel crosses the porch, going right under my chair. Below the top railing, an upside-down fly spins madly in a net of silk.
Fog. The splat of a walnut on the driveway, knocked loose by a foraging squirrel. A rabbit grazing the sodden grass freezes.
A Cooper’s hawk hurtles out of the woods and alights briefly in a yard tree. The assembly-line sound of territorial chipmunks never lets up.
As it warms up, the noise from the valley fades. Seven blue jays land in the tall locusts, looking anything but blue against the clear sky.