Cold and overcast. Four silent bluebirds drop into the spicebush in my herb garden and begin gobbling the blood-red drupes, stones and all.
A hard rain overnight has reduced the forest canopy to tatters. Where cherry leaves had hung, nothing but beads of water reflecting the sky.
The wind is out of the east, bringing routine news of violence to the pitted earth. A bare birch at the woods’ edge fills up with finches.
Rounding the corner of the house, I spot a reflection in my living room window and stop short: leaves of all colors. The change is upon us.
The cherry tree beside my porch is at its fragile peak of color, bright orange leaves fluttering loose from a clusterfuck of diseased limbs.
Two squirrels meet nose-to-nose on a maple trunk and grapple gently, gray against the gray bark. They freeze for a second and almost vanish.
Mid-morning, and a weak sun sets the oaks aglow—orange, burgundy. Two archery hunters rustle past, incongruous in their green camouflage.
6:20 a.m. All through the newly bare branches of the black walnut tree beside the driveway, the stars glitter, too high for any squirrel.
Another thin fur of snow on the ground. The four aspens in the corner of the field shiver as the sunlight floods their yellow crowns.
The first snow of the season blows sideways through the thinning woods. All the roofs are white, white—sudden colonies of the sky.
The French lilac, unseasonably green; Japanese barberries flaunting too-numerous fruit; me with my steaming Ethiopian brew, rain in my face.
The oaks are finally coloring up, and rattle instead of rustling in the wind. But no rain of acorns this autumn, few footfalls of deer.