The rat snake that’s been living in the ceiling is descending the walnut tree behind the house, shimmering like a slow, black waterfall.
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.
Clear and cool. Falling walnut leaves spin through the deep shadows at the edge of the woods. Above the crickets, a distant motorcycle.
The wind from a distant storm sends yellowed walnut leaves spinning to the ground. In the meadow, the first goldenrod blossoms are opening.
Tussock moth caterpillars rappelling from a walnut limb. One changes its mind half way—a little white comma returning to its green sentence.
Cool and humid. A chickadee and bluebird perch side by side in the walnut tree before flying down into their respective holes in the stump.
Could that be thunder? The sun struggles to shine. On the flattened grass where snow sat until yesterday, a scatter of black walnut husks.
Little sign left of last night’s ice storm, except beneath the black walnut trees in the yard: long, brown run-off stains on the snow.
Frost on the grass like mildew. An echoey rasping sound that can only be a squirrel chiseling at a black walnut shell inside a hollow tree.
Siskins like moveable leaves in a bare birch. A squirrel chiseling a skull-hard walnut falls silent when it reaches the soft cerebrum.
Now that the walnuts have all fallen, a squirrel deigns to pick one off the ground. The dogwood beside the stream pullulates with sparrows.
Overcast and still. The hollow thumps of a pileated woodpecker foraging for breakfast. Walnuts fall on the back roof with an alarming crash.
Fog. The splat of a walnut on the driveway, knocked loose by a foraging squirrel. A rabbit grazing the sodden grass freezes.
A cloudless sky. In the bright sunlight, the tattered remnants of webworm nests gleam like flags of surrender at the top of the walnut tree.
A cicada starts his electric saw and stops. It’s too cold for cicadas. The sky’s a deep blue. A walnut leaf curled like a boat floats down.
A walnut leaflet falling into the yard rotates on its axis like a yellow spoke in search of a wheel. The brown dog lies panting in the sun.