Clear and still. The witch hazel in the garden has just opened its first blooms, spidery petals a far purer yellow than the curling leaves.

Sunrise turns the western ridge red. A squirrel falls out of a walnut tree and lands with a thump in weeds white with the first frost.

A few degrees above freezing. Three titmice drop out of the sunlit oaks to investigate the dead elm, en route to a quick bath in the stream.

Gusty winds. The sun appears several times a minute to light up the forest, which today is noticeably more open, yellower, more ablaze.

It’s pouring. Lichens glow on rain-dark trees, pale blue and green rashes. Through a thickening carpet of fallen leaves, the bright moss.

A jay walks the metal ridge of the springhouse roof, where a tangled mass of Virginia creeper has stretched red tentacles over the shingles.

The flashing light on the meter-reader’s truck emerges from the fog. The meadow is dotted with the white, inverted tents of funnel spiders.