Two oak leaves are caught by a birch, one after the other. From somewhere in the clouds, the buzzing rattle of a plane with a loose part.
First snowfall of the year—a quarter inch. Newly fallen oak leaves roll across it, or scuttle like crabs on their curled lobe-tips.
Oak leaves that turned brown just a few days ago already rattle instead of rustling. A hunter in gray camouflage emerges from the woods.
A sparrow hawk makes two small, fast circles over the ridge, just like a real hawk. A barberry bush has this year’s only flaming foliage.
Rain again. This is the dreariest, drabbest autumn I’ve ever seen—except for the moss and tree-bark lichens, which have never been brighter.
No frost yet, but the woods’ edge is riddled with fresh chinks of sky. The squeaky rattle of a winter wren as it pops out of the weeds.
Endlessly flitting about the same patch of sun up in the woods, what looks like an enchanted moth must be a leaf caught by caterpillar silk.
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.