Deer came in the night and dug up half the yard to get at the evergreen myrtle. Sun pours down from a cloudless sky. A song sparrow sings.
A cold gray day. Juncos forage on the road and in the yard where a deer has dug. The dull knocks of a pileated woodpecker trepanning an oak.
Cloudy and cold. The quiet tapping of a downy woodpecker. A deer hunter appears, his bloody quarry sliding behind him on the fallen leaves.
Brighter color between the trees: sunrise. Gray as their trunks: a doe and her grown fawns. From down hollow, a screech owl’s trill.
Deer follow their long-legged shadows through the trees. Three phoebes chase through the branches and three chipmunks through the leaf duff.
The morning after the end of deer season and an inch and a half of new snow covers the evidence—the gut piles, the trails of blood and hair.
Sunrise. A deer grazes at the woods’ edge. A phoebe perches beside her and makes repeated sorties over her back, snapping up the deerflies.