Where the sun shines through elms and birches, almost half the leaves are already yellow. In the meadow, the goldenrod is at its height.
Ground fog in the corner of the meadow glowing faintly pink in the sunrise. A flicker flies out of the old den in the dead elm tree.
A half-hour after sunrise, the flickers arrive at the elm from different directions, copulate twice, and go back to work on the nest hole.
The hole in the dead elm is emitting puffs of dust: a flicker cleans house. Just beyond: scarlet tanager! Then the cardinal’s humdrum red.
Sunny and cold. The snow lingers like a guilty conscience. A squirrel climbs the dead elm, enters the old nest hole and sits peering out.
A bedraggled squirrel climbs the rain-slick elm snag and takes shelter in the old flicker hole, turning to peer out at the downpour.
Wind shuffles the suddenly yellow leaves of elm and birch—their marked decks. A fly wanders the inside of a window pane on sticky feet.
I feel watched, somehow. I spot a round gap high in the foliage, dark and deep. Then there’s the den hole in the elm, an empty eye-socket…
Sun shining through fog and the growing tents of fall webworms. A sharp-shinned hawk sits atop the dead elm, his head swiveling all around.
Two male flickers fighting over the dead elm and its den-hole joust in the garden, jabbing and feinting with their long bills.