Clear and still. I watch the sun inch through the half-turned canopies of the oaks. A chipmunk begins his morning chant.
Slightly warmer. Alarmed chipmunks go in and out of sync. The slow hegemony of clouds.
Sun in the treetops and a small flock of migrants just below, catching some breakfast. A chipmunk’s motor slowly runs out of putts.
Fog rising into the treetops. The garden chipmunk keeps me company, sitting on the end of the wall, scratching his belly.
Rain prolongs the early-morning light till well past 10:00. A chipmunk appears in the garden, bustling among the drenched weeds.
An odor from my childhood: the humid oak forest of my grandparents’ South Jersey yard. A chipmunk dashes under my chair.
A Louisiana waterthrush declaims from a walnut tree, bobbing up and down as is its wont. Up in the woods, a chipmunk ticks like a too-fast clock.
Deep blue sky. It’s quiet. A chipmunk dashes across the icy snowpack as I catch up on news of the war.
A clear start to a day due for clouds and warmth. A chipmunk races over the snow, tail like the hand of a timer that just went off.
Partly sunny and cold. The kak-kak-kak of a Cooper’s hawk up in the woods. Polyrhythms of scolding chipmunks.
Gray sky gravid with bad weather. On either side of the road, the tall grass trembles: foraging chipmunks.
Brightening sky. I watch a chipmunk on the wall beside the porch making her “chuck” call, so loud—using the stone as a resonator.
The forest is so green it almost hurts to look at it, and it smells delicious, too: wild azalea’s honeysuckle scent. Two chipmunks’ warring metronomes.
The sound of chainsaws from over the ridge. A chipmunk races up the big tulip poplar and returns to earth along the first, hung-down limb.