Cold and overcast. The wind eddies around the house, bringing first a few snowflakes, then the distant mechanical gargle of an engine brake.
After last night’s wind, the trees are finally almost bare. I close my eyes against the sun and a lurid sky with dark lacework rises up.
In the steady rain, a gray squirrel is climbing all over the big tulip tree, as if searching for something. A raven goes croaking overhead.
Late morning: the sun finally comes out. The cedar tree beside the house chirps and shakes with juncos, which soon spill out into the weeds.
The forest is still a-flicker with falling leaves—astonishing this late in the year. Distant church bells. A chipmunk’s agitated ticking.
Heavy frost. When the sun strikes it, a faint mist rises from the yard. My father stops the car in the road to say he’s just seen a mink.
The hillside glistens with last night’s rain, fallen leaves cupping thousands of thumbnail-sized puddles too cold for slugs.