A dead hornet lies on her back beside my chair with her six legs folded neatly over her thorax. At the woods’ edge, a rain of yellow leaves.

A new bloom of gnats—I saw them swarming by the back door—and the yard is full of fall warblers, foraging with the chickadees and titmice.

Too dark to identify the small birds darting through the forest canopy. A walnut dislodged by a squirrel thumps hard against the ground.