black locust

A red-bellied woodpecker’s flight like a fast oarsman, far-apart wingbeats propelling it through the blue. It disappears into a tall locust.

Sunlight alternates with wind-blown precipitation half-way between snow and rain. The chirps of a downy woodpecker working a tall locust.

A burst of activity at the top of one of the tall locusts: chickadees scold, a phoebe catches gnats, and other birds sit shining in the sun.

Sunny but cold. One of the tall locust trees in the yard has developed a loud creak. Two field sparrows are calling, but not to each other.

Leaves still cling to the tall locusts—threadbare coats of gold beneath the fourth-quarter moon, pale as a discarded toenail clipping.

A squirrel explores the woods’ edge, running along the underside of a locust limb, nosing the ground, going to the very top of a dead tree.