chipmunks

Batting away a hornet hovering next to my legs—the softness of its wings. A chipmunk adds its metronome to the chorus of bird calls.

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.

Another cloudless morning. Chipmunks chase each other through a bar of sunlight on the forest floor. The distant, metallic calls of a raven.

Sunrise stains the treetops. The woods are full of anxious-sounding calls: chipmunks, jays, nuthatches, an endlessly scolding squirrel…

Cloudy and cool. Cricket trills and ticks are joined by chipmunk tocks. A tulip tree leaf sails in wide circles with its stem for a rudder.

The light between showers. A groundhog plows through the stiltgrass in the yard. Later, two chipmunks touch noses at the end of the porch.