A pileated woodpecker lands on the dead elm with a rattle of wings, the elm swaying. Below in the lilac a titmouse hammers away at an acorn.
The yellow is moving up from the goldenrod to the birches, tulip trees and elms. A red-bellied woodpecker’s shrill calls end in a trill.
A squirrel enters the cavity in the dead elm and rests its chin on the lip of the hole, watching silently as juncos swirl through the yard.
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.
Where the sun shines through elms and birches, almost half the leaves are already yellow. In the meadow, the goldenrod is at its height.
Ground fog in the corner of the meadow glowing faintly pink in the sunrise. A flicker flies out of the old den in the dead elm tree.
A half-hour after sunrise, the flickers arrive at the elm from different directions, copulate twice, and go back to work on the nest hole.