A female cardinal gleans seeds from a false buckwheat vine, dangling upside-down, fluttering in mid-air—as acrobatic as any chickadee.

Clear and dead still. A flicker lands on the elm snag and pokes into the old den hole. Her wings, when she flies, glow yellow in the sun.

A noisy pair of wrens: he calls, she answers with that rising note I always hear as ‘Yep!’ A chickadee lands on a beam right above my head.

A bright blue morning. The wail of sirens somewhere to the east—until the wind shifts and I hear nothing but the whispering of oaks.

The red and scarlet oaks have finally turned their namesake colors, and the whole ridge shines like a fresh gut pile in the sun.

The tulip tree in the yard has reached that stage where it could be sculpture, each remaining yellow leaf placed just so, jeered at by jays.