The three black locust saplings in the old corral have grown several feet since spring, and now are beginning to yellow from the inside out.
Rising after daybreak, I search out scraps of darkness: a log sunk in the weeds, the rootball of a toppled tree, the sound of grackles.
Steady rain. Two squirrels passing each other on the driveway circle briefly, as if on an invisible roundabout. A towhee’s mindless chant.
First one, then a second Carolina wren pops out from under the eaves, perches in the fretwork for a second, and flies off into the fog.
A large flock of geese somewhere above the clouds. The purple asters in the garden are folded shut like sea anemones with overly long arms.
No yellow in the lilac yet, but a growing spectrum of greens. Random clatters from the new house site, where a green metal roof is going up.
Up in the field, five black cattle—some valley neighbor’s escaped stock—emerge from the mist and pause at the sight of their shadows.
Another gray morning. High against the clouds, a pair of ravens exchange triple croaks. The chipmunk in the garden scratches behind one ear.
Equinox. A flat-white sky, and for the first time I notice two maple trees at the woods’ edge already half infiltrated by orange, by red.
In the pre-dawn, Sunday-morning silence, the distant bellowing of a cow. A half moon glows through the fog — a thin milk.
A gray, cold morning. The rusty-hinge scolding of a squirrel multiplies and turns into a flock of grackles, pivoting on its thousand wings.
Gold is spreading from the goldenrod up into the trees, here and there: walnut, elm, birch. A jay dives into the lilac: blue from the sky.
In the pre-dawn dark, a patch of moonlight appears for a few seconds on the end of the porch. A cricket’s one-string fiddle, slow and thin.
Clear, cold, the kind of morning where you can hear for miles, noisy with cars, trucks, trains, jets, and chipmunks standing their ground.