Pausing every few minutes for a lightning-quick copulation, a pair of downy woodpeckers circle a walnut tree trunk and probe its bark.
Sunny and warm. A squirrel crossing the old corral with a disinterred walnut in its mouth follows the shadow of an oak tree into the woods.
Squirrels on the ground: one makes a detour to run along a fallen tree, another digs a walnut out of the dirt and buries it in the snow.
A gray squirrel explores a walnut tree, nose down, following each limb to its end. I decide it’s searching for seeds cached by the birds.
A brown creeper ascends the trunk of a walnut tree, its jerky scuttling more insect-like than avian. Up on the ridge, a furious mob of crows.
A heavy frost sparkles in the yard. A foot from my chair, the only four walnut-leaf nibs on the porch are clustered in the shape of a rune.
A chickadee in the walnut tree flits from twig to twig, swiping its bill twice against each, then drops into the creek for a quick drink.
A black walnut crosses the yard, powered by the usual gray squirrel propulsion and planting system. A close rifle shot echoes off the ridge.
The ethereal notes of cedar waxwings on the wind. In the now-leafless lilac, I spot a black walnut wedged into a cluster of small branches.
In the cold rain, a squirrel sits on an elm limb with its back to the trunk working on a walnut, its tail folded over its head like a hood.
A walnut sits on the railing in its soggy, rotten husk like an obscene offering. Two distant fire sirens: when one peaks, the other troughs.
The brackens in my yard have turned from brown to burgundy. High in a walnut tree, a squirrel checks every webworm tent for unfallen nuts.
Many small birds chasing and gleaning. An old fall webworm tent hanging from a walnut tree gets a thorough going-over from a winter wren.
With the walnut leaves down, I can once again see the line of aspens: still green, still full of ambiguous gestures. (Hello? Get lost?)
I’m looking at a walnut when it lets go and thuds to the ground—the branch rocks like a diving board. A vireo calls softly from the woods.
The walnut tree behind the house keeps knocking on my bedroom roof with its fat green fists. I start thinking fondly of the chainsaw.