Now that the birch closest to the porch is bare, I notice a large hornets’ nest: a ghost town, a wino’s abandoned bottle in a paper sack.
Warmer outside than in: I emerge like Lazarus from the tomb, shaking worms of sleep from my eyes. A groundhog hauls ass into the tall weeds.
Dawn: the soft wickering of a wood thrush. Three hours later: chipmunks’ incessant hammers. A tiny blue wasp explores the sunlit railing.
The spicy smell of moldering leaves. On the barn roof, the shadow of a blue jay lands on the shadow of a limb.
At first light, some newly toppled tree creaks in the wind. What I’d taken for the dog statue on the far side of the yard swivels its ears.
The wind is busy dismantling its favorite instrument. I can now see clear to the ridgetop through the thinning trees—the sky beyond.
Rain. And in the woods, a continual downward flight of leaves, meandering from side to side like all lost things. The rain falls harder.
Rain and fog. A pileated woodpecker performs invasive surgery on a locust tree next to the springhouse, removing a malignant colony of ants.
White-throated sparrows in the meadow—their quavery notes. Behind the curtain of gold leaves, a split-second glimpse of a hawk’s wing.
Mist and quarry noise. In my four-day absence, green has drained from the trees, and the aliens in my yard have put up three blue flowers.