Cold rain blowing sideways. The walnut trees behind the house have shed their leaves, unveiling a still-heavy ordnance of green orbs.
I wake from a dream of a pub that served nothing but wheat beer to endless rain on yellow leaves: birch and elm, walnut and tulip tree.
The black walnut trees shed their leaves into the wind like feathers stripped from the wings of Miltonian angels. The walnuts thunder down.
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.