scarlet oak

The stream’s dark thread. A jay pierces it with his bill three times. The scarlet oak I planted so long ago is flying all its red flags.

The red and scarlet oaks have finally turned their namesake colors, and the whole ridge shines like a fresh gut pile in the sun.

Backlit by the sun, the one branch of marcescent oak leaves at the woods’ edge looks like a bough of orange flowers, old before their time.

Warm morning after a cold night, and the oaks are shedding leaves: a dry sound as they hit lower branches, like the ticking of many clocks.

Color is creeping into the tall oaks: here a splash of deep orange, there a branch gone burgundy, and just above, a pale smudge of sun.

Oaks sway in the wind, their leaves gleaming in the strong sunlight. Acorns rattle down. A snatch of migrant birdsong I can’t quite place.

The first phoebe is finally back, chanting his name in the barnyard. Marcescent leaves of a scarlet oak glow orange, back-lit by the sun.