The leaves of the tall tulip tree at the wood’s edge are now as big as babies’ ears. A squirrel cries plaintively from its crown.
I look up from my laptop just as a Cooper’s hawk launches from the tulip poplar, flashing through the treetops toward its nest of sticks.
Dull yellow stripes in the fog: the rising sun slipping between ridge-top trees; thin tulip poplar branches chewed bare by a porcupine.
Traffic noise from over the hill is deafening—the icy snowpack has become a sounding board. In the tulip tree, four slow, amorous squirrels.
The big tulip tree at the woods’ edge is releasing its seeds, spinning blades backlit by the sun. The cedar by the door trembles with birds.
A smudge of a sun sits in the crown of the tall tulip poplar like a grotesque fruit. Bluebird and Carolina wren song: a joyous soundtrack.
A murky sunrise. Gnatcatchers high in the tulip tree dart and hover, tiny silhouettes against a cross-hatch of stratus clouds.
A shimmer of rain. One of the lower branches on the big tulip tree has been stripped of bark, but its leaves haven’t gotten the news.
Ten percent of the tulip tree’s leaves have turned yellow in response to the drought. Goldfinches pass through like a yellow wind.
A slight breeze brings a shower of petals from the tulip tree, while a squirrel at the top of the black walnut makes it rain catkins.
Drizzle. Just as I get the binoculars out, the cedar waxwings all take off whistling from the tulip tree and its outrageous yellow blooms.
Sun strikes the top of the tulip tree—half-grown leaves vibrating in the wind. In the road, the severed hindquarters of a rabbit.
Clear and cold at sunrise. A nuthatch on the dark side of the tall tulip poplar reverses course and ascends into the sunlit crown.
A cuckoo climbs the trunk of the tulip tree, pausing every few inches to search for prey. The dump truck goes by with a rattle and clang.
A convocation of robins in the tulip tree at the edge of the woods, like pot-bellied businessmen with their self-important tut-tut-tuts.
Wood thrush, cerulean warbler, red-eyed vireo, Baltimore oriole—song by song I tick them off as yellow petals fall from the tulip tree.