A shield bug on the railing is nearly immobilized by the cold, except for a slow, vaguely apotropaic waving of its antennae when I approach.
Silent as a thief, this sun climbing through the trees. The fog lifted an hour ago, but steam still rises from the yellow leaves.
All the stiltgrass has turned burgundy—”the wine-dark yard.” In the woods, a steady procession of falling birch leaves.
Whatever the male wren says, his mate always gives the same reply. He sings into the chimney like a child dropping pennies into a dry well.
Moon in the morning sky like a broken plate. Squirrels are climbing walnut trees and descending with fat green globes between their teeth.
Just because we live here year ’round doesn’t mean we don’t get restless this time of year. A V of geese low over the trees, headed north.
Sunny and cold. A phoebe calling up by the barn, as if this were some morning in March—and he was just arriving, not preparing to leave.
A honeybee lands on the porch railing, and seconds later, a hornet lands four inches away. When the bee takes flight, so does the hornet.
The hornets stream in and out of their hole in the garden, departing to the south, returning from the east. A towhee calling in the dogwood.
The clouds thicken, gravid with rain. A squirrel climbing the walnut tree next to the road pauses on the first limb to lick its genitals.
The thin fog turns blue before disappearing. At the woods’ edge, ants rise on filmy wings like a curl of smoke.
Goldfinch, nuthatch, catbird, wren. The herb-garden chipmunk, cheeks bulging, pauses on top of the wall to groom its paws.
Loud wingbeats as the shadow of a raven crosses the yard. A buck gingerly lowers his antlered head to the stream.
Were there really just two of them? Now every yellow birch leaf trembling in the breeze looks like another migrant warbler.