The loud rasp of squirrel teeth trying to gain entry to the chambers of a black walnut. Gibbous moon like an eggshell discarded in the sky.

The hollow echoes with the roar of traffic. Odd how the sun can rise through the trees in total silence, turning a heavy frost into mist.

The neighbor’s leaf blower, that insect whine. I worry about the oaks that still have leaves—snow is coming, the kind that breaks limbs.

Overcast and breezy. The blue-gray back of a small hawk—sharp-shinned or Cooper’s—darting through the yard. A few raindrops tap on the roof.

In the midst of all this gray, the hulking green lilac—summer’s unfinished business. A crow crosses the sun, leaving a trail of complaints.

Alarm calls of jays give way to crows; the crows to a raven. With each corvid, the cry comes from higher in the blue—and closer to the bone.

The only cloud is an unmoving section of contrail that barely melts in the course of an hour, stubborn as a block of ice in all that blue.