Weak sun. A large V of Canada geese comes low over the trees, arrowing due north—non-migratory locals, their cries full of wild longing.
A titmouse scolds something hidden among blood-red barberries. The dead stiltgrass twitches with a second life like hair on a corpse.
Despite all the rain that fell yesterday, the ditches are silent: the forest soaked it all up and now steams and glistens in the sunlight.
Gray rain ripples the air—November’s fur blurring the last splashes of bright October: salmon-colored cherry leaves, a vivid limb of maple.
With the leaves half down, I can see inside the forest again: squirrels leaping from branch to branch, a ridgetop flock, the rising sun.
Every morning, the carpet of sunlight on the forest floor grows a little larger. The steady rasp of squirrel teeth on black walnut shells.
The wind has made the leaves at the end of the porch draw into a circle. A red-tailed hawk soars over the house, flapping to stay aloft.
With the walnuts bare, I can see the aspens again—now a flickering orange, like that tree in the Mabinogion burning without being consumed.
The thought-cancelling roar of military jets just over the ridge. Overhead, only a commercial jet like a mote in a clear blue eye.
Breezy and warm. A tulip-tree samara helicopters past the porch. In one of the bare birches, a single katydid plays his worn rasp.
The yelling of a crow unable to raise a mob. Sun glints on caterpillar silk strung like abandoned bunting among bare walnut-tree branches.
Warm, with a bleary sun. Three deer file out of the woods: a doe with grown fawns. She pauses to browse the leaves on a feral privet bush.
Last night’s heavy frost retreats to the shade. By 10:30, sparrows are bathing in the stream, shaking themselves dry in the sunlit dogwood.
The thermometer’s big arrow points straight at 0°C. It was too windy for frost, but fallen red maple leaves cradle white grains of ice.