Wind tosses the leaves that last night were glistening in the moonlight. A blue jay does its red-tailed hawk imitation, but nobody’s fooled.
At 8:30 in the morning it’s still warm, but I hear the cold front coming: the hissing grass, the shuffling leaves, the hoarse cries of jays.
As it warms up, the noise from the valley fades. Seven blue jays land in the tall locusts, looking anything but blue against the clear sky.
The air is hazy but cool. Asian ladybugs fly back and forth, orange elytra aglow. A jay forages in the leaf duff, bluer than the sky.
A jay’s call isn’t harsh, a nuthatch’s isn’t querulous: so hard to hear the music of what happens. Every day some poet dies from the strain.
A bluejay imitates a titmouse, blaring the first note of its call, and drops down to drink from the sky-blue trickle in the ditch.
A breeze rustles through dry leaves as loudly as a squirrel, the squirrels as loudly as deer. A blue jay’s call sounds strangely inverted.
From up behind my parents’ house, some vaguely melodic notes: a blue jay? Or my father whistling as he hangs out the laundry?
Fog from the valley spills over the ridgetop and advances on the porch. The jays start calling, unable to see each other in adjacent trees.
Blue jays yelling in the treetops. Wind speed is less than three knots, but still there’s a steady shower of yellow walnut leaves.
A blue jay lands on a snow-laden branch and the branch breaks. An early snowstorm is like a too-hard eraser that tears holes in the page.
The spicy smell of moldering leaves. On the barn roof, the shadow of a blue jay lands on the shadow of a limb.
Rusty things: the wail of a cat in heat, a squirrel’s slow scold, the cry of a jay, and the black cherry leaves fading to a coppery red.
A racket of jays in the crown of an oak, calling and making excited rattling sounds in their throats, as if cheering on the ripening acorns.
Flurries. The chittering call of a Cooper’s hawk; the small birds continue feeding. A strangled cry. Finally, the jay calls like a jay.
There must be open water in the ditch: jay- and sparrow-shaped silhouettes are going up and down the dogwood’s laddered branches.