The thought-cancelling roar of military jets just over the ridge. Overhead, only a commercial jet like a mote in a clear blue eye.
Breezy and warm. A tulip-tree samara helicopters past the porch. In one of the bare birches, a single katydid plays his worn rasp.
The yelling of a crow unable to raise a mob. Sun glints on caterpillar silk strung like abandoned bunting among bare walnut-tree branches.
Warm, with a bleary sun. Three deer file out of the woods: a doe with grown fawns. She pauses to browse the leaves on a feral privet bush.
Last night’s heavy frost retreats to the shade. By 10:30, sparrows are bathing in the stream, shaking themselves dry in the sunlit dogwood.
The thermometer’s big arrow points straight at 0°C. It was too windy for frost, but fallen red maple leaves cradle white grains of ice.
Sun shining through rain: to the small birds in the treetops, the porch must be ringed in a rainbow. Then it turns to sleet.
Cloudy and cold. A bluebottle fly clings to a porch column, stopped head pointing at five o’clock. Four geese go over—a confusion of honks.
Pileated woodpeckers fly back and forth cackling, their wings black and white as newsprint amid the cathedral-window colors of the leaves.
Color is creeping into the tall oaks: here a splash of deep orange, there a branch gone burgundy, and just above, a pale smudge of sun.
A cold wind. The first holes have appeared in the golden wall of leaves at the woods’ edge, the winter-white, ridgetop sky leaking through.
Another cool and cloudless morning. The hollow echoes with the croaks of ravens. A pileated woodpecker taps on the side of my house.
Bright morning after a cold night. One katydid still stridulates, seemingly in dialogue with a blue-headed vireo—two slow, three-beat calls.
White-throated sparrows call among the weeds. A pine warbler yellow as a birch leaf lands on the railing next to my feet and cocks his head.
The walnut tree next to the road is stripping in the wind, its leaves flying off in great yellow gusts. The steady ticking of a chipmunk.
A sharp-shinned hawk keeps chasing flickers in the yard; they yell at the effrontery and circle right back each time. A wren chatters alarm.