An unfeasibly large number of chickadees foraging along the woods’ edge, calling, singing, dangling from black birch twigs like mutant fruit.
As the rising sun glimmers through the trees, birch and walnut leaves begin to fall, the first hard frost glittering on the ground.
Rainy and cold. White-throated sparrows call in different keys, each more plaintive than the last. The birches are fluttery with kinglets.
Sun silvering black birch twigs. From the woods beyond, the call of a Cooper’s hawk. It can’t be long till the first shadbush blooms.
After hours of rain, woods and meadow are shrink-wrapped in ice. The black birch twigs creak as chickadees land to liberate a few seeds.
Rain. A black birch at the woods’ edge may regret its timing, shaggy orange catkins making it look like the most Victorian of lampshades.
A slit in the gray clouds widening to reveal the sun, like a sudden eye. Goldfinches feasting in the crown of a birch become silhouettes.
With birches and maples at the woods’ edge all bare, I can see unimpeded up the hillside to small clouds lost among the trees and the rain.
A few oaks are turning brown behind the birches’ washed-out yellow. High on a bare limb, a squirrel nest the exact shape of a porcupine.
Mid-morning, and the trees still glisten from the dawn fog. A breeze sends hundreds of birch leaves swirling out into the meadow.