Clear and still. A double splat of black walnuts onto the driveway. At the top of an oak, a crow grooms itself with a soft clicking sound.
Partly sunny and cold. The kak-kak-kak of a Cooper’s hawk up in the woods. Polyrhythms of scolding chipmunks.
Thunderstorm at dawn; I rush through my shower so I can watch the rain. With each lightning flash, raindrops falling from the eaves become momentary suns.
My first day on earth without a father. It takes me ten minutes to notice the sky—cloudless blue. The laboring engine of a distant plane.
Cloudless blue like October come early. A crow. A raven’s croak. The field full of yellow goldenrod heads bowing toward the sun.
The unfamiliar clouds of my breath. A phoebe calling in the sun-drenched crown of a walnut tree, beneath that old slice of apple, the moon.
Clear and cold. I see that the stiltgrass stems have all turned color in the yard—a chaos of feathery green threaded through with red.
The first full day of astronomical autumn dawns to downpour. A cricket in the garden scrapes out a last few, scattered notes.
Sunrise somewhere over the rain. In the dripping forest canopy, a dark card-shuffle of wings.
Under a thinning white sky, the thinning crown of a black cherry tree already less green than salmon. The sunflowers face every direction.
Spring peeper just after moonset. Then whippoorwill. Wood thrush. Carolina wren. Phoebe. A pileated woodpecker cackles and it’s day.
5:30. A pair of barred owls exchange queries as the sky begins to brighten. A screech owl’s quaver. Sudden loud wingbeats in the meadow.
Standing out front talking with my mom, I watch the fog behind her turn from pink to orange to gold. A Carolina wren adds color commentary.
Overcast and cool. A few bars from a mystery vireo. A mosquito’s whine becomes a smear with a clap of the hands.