A fat spider on a web in the eaves retracts her banded legs, making herself as small as possible when I approach. The rooster’s rasping cry.
Where the sun shines through elms and birches, almost half the leaves are already yellow. In the meadow, the goldenrod is at its height.
Fog rising from from the valley breaks over the treetops like silent surf. The weak sun finds hints of scarlet under the crabapple leaves.
Overcast and cool. A catbird scolds something in the lilac. Crickets. A pileated woodpecker whinnies once and begins to tap.
Another too-warm morning. An untenanted spider web at the end of the porch undulates in the breeze like a flag from nowhere.
A leaf-footed bug lands on the railing, orange-tipped antennae glowing in the sun. From the edge of the woods, a blue jay’s raspy cry.
Still cool so far, but the air smells of heat. A monarch butterfly circles the house on its way to Mexico.
The rat snake that’s been living in the ceiling is descending the walnut tree behind the house, shimmering like a slow, black waterfall.
In the course of an hour, the only bird calls are from a couple of crows. But there are four kinds of crickets, a cicada, a distant jet.
Wasps wallow through mounds of snakeroot flowers. At the woods’ edge, a yellow leaf trapped by a caterpillar thread never stops twirling.
Japanese stiltgrass stems are reddening, and their leaves beaded with dew remind me of that haiku synecdoche for the season: autumn grasses.
The alarm snorts of deer down-hollow give way to the higher-pitched snorting of a fawn in the field. Whatever it is, it’s heading southwest.
Two compound leaves atop a walnut branch feint and dodge like boxing lobsters in the wind. A syrphid fly makes a close inspection of my leg.
When the wind stops, the big locust tree that’s been creaking ominously falls silent, and the long cattail leaves all hold their poses.
Clear and cool. Falling walnut leaves spin through the deep shadows at the edge of the woods. Above the crickets, a distant motorcycle.
Sunny and cool. From somewhere in the valley, the smell of burning plastic. I sit idly watching the purposeful voyages of insects.