A small hawk flies through the forest in steady rain, perches in the crown of an oak for several minutes, and flies on. The wind picks up.
A pileated woodpecker trepanning an oak to extract its harmful inhabitants the ants. Distant shots from deer hunters at a similar task.
High winds. The chairs huddle together at the end of the porch. Oak trees rattle; the pines roar. A sparrow flies into the wind, chittering.
The neighbor’s leaf blower, that insect whine. I worry about the oaks that still have leaves—snow is coming, the kind that breaks limbs.
Hoarfrost costumes the yard, sparkling in the sun for a few minutes of glory. Oaks that looked brown under clouds glow orange and red again.
Rain past, the sky brightens. Great crowds of oak leaves are taking the plunge. A freight train whistles an almost perfect minor chord.
A bright blue morning. The wail of sirens somewhere to the east—until the wind shifts and I hear nothing but the whispering of oaks.