After the rain, a drying breeze, shrinking the wet spots around the leaves strewn across the porch floor. Yellow tips rise. Edges flutter.
I wake from a dream of a pub that served nothing but wheat beer to endless rain on yellow leaves: birch and elm, walnut and tulip tree.
As leaves begin to flutter in the rain, I notice the small birds fluttering underneath them, like a flash mob that was there all along.
Two crickets are having a singing contest among the stiltgrass, which is now quite red and swept back in one direction as if with a comb.
The black walnut trees shed their leaves into the wind like feathers stripped from the wings of Miltonian angels. The walnuts thunder down.
Breezy and cool. The spider with the banded legs at the end of the porch clutches the husk of a stinkbug, rotating it, looking for morsels.
Another cloudless morning. Chipmunks chase each other through a bar of sunlight on the forest floor. The distant, metallic calls of a raven.
Thick fog at mid-morning. The sudden cry of a Canada goose right above the trees, the sound of its wingbeats. The squirrels crying back.
Overcast and cool. Tiny, pale-winged insects drift back and forth, and—perhaps not coincidentally—the yard trees seethe with small birds.
The wind is out of the east, and, slight as it is, carries an acrid, chemical smell from the sewage plant and the quarry’s dull roar.
Clear and cold after last night’s showers. In the garden, the asters are all pinched shut like collapsed eyes with long, purple lashes.
Even unseen, the raven crying rawk rawk from high overhead makes the flat white sky more interesting. In the yard, a monarch’s regal orange.
The rising sun illuminates old spiderwebs in the eaves, littered with insect body parts. Below, the flamboyant bones of dame’s-rocket.
A squirrel explores the woods’ edge, running along the underside of a locust limb, nosing the ground, going to the very top of a dead tree.