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.
The goldenrod is all brown, but each breeze sprinkles it with yellow from the woods. The last hornet returns to her ghost town of a nest.
Cloudy and cold. Gusts of wind try on bespoke garments of yellow leaves. The hornets are still flying, tough as the nails in their abdomens.
The neighbor’s leaf blower, that insect whine. I worry about the oaks that still have leaves—snow is coming, the kind that breaks limbs.
Hoarfrost costumes the yard, sparkling in the sun for a few minutes of glory. Oaks that looked brown under clouds glow orange and red again.
The stream’s dark thread. A jay pierces it with his bill three times. The scarlet oak I planted so long ago is flying all its red flags.
Rain past, the sky brightens. Great crowds of oak leaves are taking the plunge. A freight train whistles an almost perfect minor chord.