black walnut

In the soft light of a half-hidden sun, the old red maple beside the road is ruddy with blossoms. The sound of teeth chiselling a walnut.

Every morning, the carpet of sunlight on the forest floor grows a little larger. The steady rasp of squirrel teeth on black walnut shells.

With the walnuts bare, I can see the aspens again—now a flickering orange, like that tree in the Mabinogion burning without being consumed.

The yelling of a crow unable to raise a mob. Sun glints on caterpillar silk strung like abandoned bunting among bare walnut-tree branches.

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.

Cold rain blowing sideways. The walnut trees behind the house have shed their leaves, unveiling a still-heavy ordnance of green orbs.

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.