The forest is still a-flicker with falling leaves—astonishing this late in the year. Distant church bells. A chipmunk’s agitated ticking.
White sky, bright leaves, shivering on the branch as if in ecstasy. The sine wave of a gray squirrel’s tail and body bounding up the road.
Brighter color between the trees: sunrise. Gray as their trunks: a doe and her grown fawns. From down hollow, a screech owl’s trill.
Sunlight for the first time in days, flooding through new holes in the forest canopy. The wistful theme song of a white-throated sparrow.
Cold and gloomy despite the bright leaves; even the wren sounds querulous. When I look again, the unmoving fly is gone from 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.
Just past daybreak it begins to rain and the forest is full of falling leaves—a slow, steady flutter of summer yellow into the drab shadows.