As the moonlight fades, pale patches remain—a killing frost. The woods’ edge is nearly bare of leaves below the brick-red crowns of the oaks.
Dead stillness giving way to rain at dawn, in the glowing absence of the full moon.
In the dawn light, the tulip poplars glow a deep orange. It’s unseasonably warm. A spring peeper calls at the edge of the woods.
Dark at sunrise, but only a sprinkle of rain. Up in the woods, a deer rustles through freshly fallen leaves, breakfasting on acorns.
Sunrise: pink and orange in the sky as on the hillside. A white-breasted nuthatch punctuates a white-throated sparrow’s song.
A dozen geese come honking over the house, interrupting three crows sharing their excitement over a venison gut pile up in the woods.
Clear and cold with a heavy inversion layer: sparrow sounds blend with beeping quarry trucks. In the dim light, all the autumn colors look like blood.
First frost here and there like someone’s first white hairs. I crunch through it en route to the top of the field to watch the dawn approaching from 50 miles away.
After a windy night, the forest is looking decidedly threadbare in its coat of many colors, illuminated each time the sun finds a hole in the clouds.
In the half-light, a patter of hooves from just inside the woods. The grunts of a buck in rut. A dawn sky coming through the trees.
Between dawn and sunrise, a small rainstorm’s pleasant susurration drowns out everything else. As it eases, a Carolina wren takes over, caroling in a minor key.
One degree above freezing and very still. I add my breath to the ground fog rising through yellow leaves into the sunlight.
A flat white sky crossed by a crow. Woods’-edge chipmunks in a chipping contest. The color.
Gloomy and cold at dawn. From the depths of the seed-laden goldenrod, the first, bright chips and whistles as the sparrow horde wakes up.