Unseasonably warm. A bluebottle fly descends a porch column as slowly as a sleepwalker. A bit of cattail down drifts back and forth.
I find my chair where the wind left it at the far end of the porch with a cracked back. Dried cattail leaves flap like banners for the dead.
After a cold night, the gift of clarity: a mote of drifting cattail down visible at 100 yards. A raven croaking on high is echoed by a crow.
Frost on the bent-down blades of cattails. Two single-prop planes from different directions—their drones blending then separating again.
A hint of winter in the way the dead cattail leaves hiss and rattle. But in the garden, a few coneflowers still brandish tattered suns.
White sky. The sun is a bright spot like the eye of a blind cave salamander. Doves flutter up from the cattails on piccolo wings.
A few snowflakes scud past. The dried blades of cattail next to the springhouse rattle and hiss. A dead leaf on the road flips over.
Cool and extraordinarily clear. With the sun on its gable end, the old springhouse glows like a lost tooth among the dark, swaying cattails.
Catbird caterwauling by the cattails. Bumblebee buzzing in the bergamot. A gray fly walks the gray band of my sandal. The sun comes out.
To the east, an agitated crow. Over by the cattails, an anxious wren. And behind me under the house, a groundhog bumps and scrapes.
When the wind stops, the big locust tree that’s been creaking ominously falls silent, and the long cattail leaves all hold their poses.
It’s wild mustard season, the yard dotted with purple dame’s-rocket, white garlic mustard, and among the cattails a riot of yellow rocket.
Clear and bright, but the wind still blows. The long leaves of the cattails have started to brown, their curled ends bowing toward the west.
A trembling in the cattails: female yellowthroat. Birds flit through the treetops, smaller than the motes of grit in my ancient binoculars.