Dawn breeze. The whine of tires from the highway over the ridge is punctuated by the heavy thwacks of falling walnuts.
A goldfinch gone green lands among walnut leaves that have gone yellow. Below, a juvenile red-bellied woodpecker, nape turning orange.
A squirrel bounds over the snow with a newly disinterred walnut in its teeth. Behind it in the yard, a neat hole ringed with pieces of husk.
In the steady rain, a squirrel grabs an unburied black walnut from under the walnut-stained slush and carries it back up the tree.
Peeled flesh of a black walnut leaks pus onto the sidewalk, more indelible than a blood stain. A woodpecker cackles from a bone-white snag.
Thick fog. Silence punctuated by the muffled thuds of black walnuts landing on the lawn. The distant, mad cackle of a pileated woodpecker.
Two gray squirrels in their fall colors—snouts and bellies stained brown from walnut hulls—dash past each other on the rain-slick trunk.