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.
A chipmunk scurries through the garden with a wad of dried leaves between her teeth and disappears beneath a flowerless clump of peonies.
A flash of blue as one indigo bunting chases another out of the yard. From within the rock wall, a chipmunk’s hollow tock.
Cloudy and cold. The weeds below the porch tremble where a chipmunk forages for seeds. The dog wanders into the garden to graze on grass.
Momentary things: A chipmunk pressing the rain from its fur. The swaying of a branch from which a grackle has just taken flight.
A cloudless sky. Chipmunks and squirrels run back and forth across the melting snow. A gurgling chorus from all the springs and ditches.
A few degrees above freezing. Just inside the woods’ edge, three chipmunks in full mating frenzy race back and forth across the snow.
It’s cold and gray, but a chipmunk has emerged from hibernation and sits on a log protruding above the snow without moving for half an hour.
The rain-soaked forest shines in the sun. Two chipmunks are calling, and at first I mistake their metronomes for dripping water.
An inversion layer brings freight train and traffic noise to mix with rustling leaves, crow scold-calls, a chipmunk’s metronome. My music.
A Cooper’s hawk hurtles out of the woods and alights briefly in a yard tree. The assembly-line sound of territorial chipmunks never lets up.
A cold morning. Two chipmunks calling 100 yards apart fall in and out of sync. Thin clouds block the sun before it ever reaches the porch.
Goldfinch, nuthatch, catbird, wren. The herb-garden chipmunk, cheeks bulging, pauses on top of the wall to groom its paws.
Another cold, clear morning. A chipmunk finds a patch of sun from which to tick, like a self-winding alarm clock set for fall.
The hollow tock of a chipmunk calling from within the rock wall. A chickadee perched atop the stump opens his wings wide to shake off rain.