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.
A tulip-tree leaf under the drip line cups its portion of rain. A chipmunk hidden in the dead grass shrieks when I turn the page of my book.
The builder leaves but hammering continues—a pileated woodpecker. Two chipmunks poke their heads out on either side of a rock in the wall.
Gold on gold: a kinglet’s crest among the birch leaves. Rust on rust: a chipmunk’s fur among rain-flattened tangles of stiltgrass.
Strands of silk left by spider or caterpillar aeronauts shimmer in and out of view. From the woods, a chipmunk’s high-pitched monologue.
The hollow tock-tocking of chipmunks. A milkweed seed floats past: quite a trick, I think, to turn a white beard into a balloon.