This isn’t how Hollywood would’ve scripted the deer season opener: flat light with no hint of shadow. Shots don’t ring out—they merely thud.
Blank white sky. The woods are quiet except for an occasional chickadee. From over at the neighbors’, the labored putting of an old engine.
From the east, the pop-pop-pop of a rifle being sighted in for deer season. From the west, the roar of Black Friday traffic. Hunters, all.
Cloud cover thin as muslin sheet; the woods are anything but gloomy. A small brown moth flutters purposefully past. The neighbor’s chainsaw.
Crystal clear and quiet, except for the methodical hammer-blows of a pileated woodpecker performing surgery on a tree afflicted with ants.
A thin spot in the clouds passing over the sun gives the tulip tree at the woods’ edge an aureole for its suddenly dramatic, upraised limbs.
Bright and still; the meadow glitters with frost. Behind the house, a deer sniffs then licks a fallen pear and turns away.