A titmouse taps in the rain gutter, its absurd crest buffeted by the wind. Scattered snowflakes dart this way and that as if on a mad hunt.
Overcast and cold. On the south side of the house, an aster is still in bloom, its small constellation trembling in the wind.
Over the wind, a faint music, as if from a distant woodwinds section: silhouetted against a cloud, a south-bound V of tundra swans.
The wind has stripped the treetops of most remaining leaves, flooding them with light. I watch the sine-wave flight of a far-off woodpecker.
Windy and overcast, with a few flakes of snow in the air. Yellow leaves peel off the aspens as I watch. Two ravens croak back and forth.
Through thinning treetops, I spot a red-tailed hawk flapping to gain altitude. Two red oak leaves spiral high over the yard.
Clear and bright, but the wind still blows. The long leaves of the cattails have started to brown, their curled ends bowing toward the west.
Back after a week away, I gaze into a grayer, more open forest. The wind makes forays to rustle in the fallen leaves. A titmouse scolds.
Wind tosses the leaves that last night were glistening in the moonlight. A blue jay does its red-tailed hawk imitation, but nobody’s fooled.
Wind shuffles the suddenly yellow leaves of elm and birch—their marked decks. A fly wanders the inside of a window pane on sticky feet.
Leaves blow backward, signalling storms to come. Fallen crabapple petals litter the ground between the cattails like bloody thumbprints.
In a gust of wind, one dead leaf dances too crazily: a question mark butterfly. It rests with its orange wings open to the sun.
Cold winds stir the leaves on the forest floor in lieu of anything better. A towhee seeks the shelter of the lilac for her own rummaging.
Trees sway and gyrate under a blue-gray sky. In a lull between gusts, a lost leaf flutters down out of the clouds. The phoebe calls.
A bitter wind scours the hillside, stirring the quarter-inch of new snow into fast-moving phantoms, back-lit by the sun.
Tundra swans are still migrating despite the bitter cold and wind; I hear them off to the north. A jet without a contrail gleams in the sun.