The first day of meteorological winter. It’s warm. I-99 is barely audible. The sound of teeth on walnut shell alternates with scold-calls.
Rain and fog. With the goldenrod going gray, the yellow has moved from the meadow to the woods’ edge: spicebush, walnut, birch, elm, tulip tree.
Overcast at dawn. The silence is broken by the periodic splats of black walnuts. A barred owl’s single, round note.
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.
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.
Walnut leaves have begun to yellow, as leaf miners turn the locust trees brown. A red-eyed vireo warbles on and on.
Cool and humid. An Acadian flycatcher gathers breakfast from the leaves of a walnut sapling. Sleep still tugs at my eyelids.
Mid-morning, and a wood thrush lands in the walnut tree next to the driveway to sing a few bars. A net-winged beetle flies past.
A few drops of rain. A gnatcatcher fluttering up from the weeds to a walnut tree swerves to—I assume—catch a gnat.
The first bergamots are in bloom, next to the first soapwort. In walnut-tree shade, the permanent shadow of a common yellowthroat’s mask.
Overcast and cool. A titmouse appears to have developed a taste for caterpillars, circling the trunk of a walnut like a nuthatch.
A mid-air tangle between a phoebe and a wood pewee ends with the latter calling once from a walnut branch and flying back into the woods.
The last patch of snow is sinking into the earth. A titmouse flits from branch to branch up a walnut sapling, whistling softly to himself.
Overcast and cold. A squirrel is picking up fallen black walnuts, removing their rotten husks, and burying them in the half-frozen yard.