gray squirrel

Sun! A gray squirrel noshes on black walnut catkins, then drops deliberately to a thin locust branch five feet below and clings, see-sawing.

Quiet except for a distant plane. A pair of squirrels race nose-to-tail through the yard, slowing only when they clamber through the lilac.

In the soft light of a half-hidden sun, the old red maple beside the road is ruddy with blossoms. The sound of teeth chiselling a walnut.

The sun shines through gauzy clouds, giving the morning a faded-photo effect. A squirrel drinks from the stream. A cowbird’s liquid note.

Sound is out of the east: quarry trucks and grinders. In the gray woods, gray squirrels glide silently over the rain-slicked leaf duff.

After a night of high winds, the lilac is more threadbare than ever, and in the crowns of the oaks, only the odd clot of a drey remains.

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.

With the leaves half down, I can see inside the forest again: squirrels leaping from branch to branch, a ridgetop flock, the rising sun.

Every morning, the carpet of sunlight on the forest floor grows a little larger. The steady rasp of squirrel teeth on black walnut shells.

A squirrel explores the woods’ edge, running along the underside of a locust limb, nosing the ground, going to the very top of a dead tree.

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

Trembling in the top of an oak where a squirrel gathers green acorns. Blurry shadows from a sun shining through cloud. A cuckoo’s soft call.

A squirrel stymied in crossing the porch by my unexpected presence approaches warily, watching me the way a farmer watches the weather.