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.
Trembling in the top of an oak where a squirrel gathers green acorns. Blurry shadows from a sun shining through cloud. A cuckoo’s soft call.
Even at late morning, it’s chilly when the sun goes in. The yard is now white with snakeroot flowers. The distant sound of a power saw.
Cool and clear, the grass bent low by dew. At 10:00, the neighbor’s rooster begins to crow, and I look up to see a few unexpected clouds.
A flat white sky. The ambiguous gestures of random leaves, waving or perhaps drowning in the thick air. A hummingbird is here and gone.
Just after full daylight, a patter of raindrops on the roof. My guests are departing. The steady, dull roar of machines at the quarry.
Still cool at sunrise. A large beetle zooms past. Faint noise from the highway. The desultory calls of a red-eyed vireo.
Ground fog in the corner of the meadow glowing faintly pink in the sunrise. A flicker flies out of the old den in the dead elm tree.