The big windthrown locust tree is nearly invisible in the high weeds. Out back, an old snake skin flutters from the branches of a spicebush.
High winds after a soaking rain. The fallen walnuts in the driveway have all turned black, soggy hulls sagging like bodies in a bog.
Steady rain. A sharp-shinned hawk lands on a gray limb with his gray back to me, then darts down into the weeds, flashing October orange.
Among the died-back stiltgrass below the porch, a cluster of native deer-tongue grass has emerged, pointed “tongues” just beginning to curl.
From under a hat brim ablaze with sun, I gaze out at the stiltgrass glazed with frost. Jays in the treetops. Falling acorns tick and tock.
A hint of winter in the way the dead cattail leaves hiss and rattle. But in the garden, a few coneflowers still brandish tattered suns.
White sky, bright leaves, shivering on the branch as if in ecstasy. The sine wave of a gray squirrel’s tail and body bounding up the road.
Red: berries on a leafless spicebush, gaps between segments of a curled-up black caterpillar, paint on the porch floor lifting like leaves.
Brighter color between the trees: sunrise. Gray as their trunks: a doe and her grown fawns. From down hollow, a screech owl’s trill.
There’s a new hole in the hornets’ nest—flying squirrel? The scarlet oak we transplanted from the woods years ago is starting to color up.
Three propeller planes in half an hour, noisy as airborne lawnmowers. It’s peak haiku time, but I could disappear into a novel.
Now that the walnut trees are bare I can see the aspens down along the boggy end of the meadow—leaves so quick to quake, so slow to let go.
Two patches of sunlight side-by-side on the myrtle: one direct from the sun that glistens, one reflected from a window that merely glows.
The builder leaves but hammering continues—a pileated woodpecker. Two chipmunks poke their heads out on either side of a rock in the wall.