October 2008

The first snow of the season blows sideways through the thinning woods. All the roofs are white, white—sudden colonies of the sky.

The French lilac, unseasonably green; Japanese barberries flaunting too-numerous fruit; me with my steaming Ethiopian brew, rain in my face.

The oaks are finally coloring up, and rattle instead of rustling in the wind. But no rain of acorns this autumn, few footfalls of deer.

Four chickadees glean frozen bugs from one skinny branch of the dead elm. Through newly porous trees, a 30-second glimpse of the rising sun.

The coldest morning so far this season. Faint noises in the darkness must be leaves letting go, brushing against branches on their way down.

First frost: a few small patches in the lowest parts of the yard. New holes in the wall of woods go from light to dark as clouds move in.