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.