The remains of last night’s ice drip from the trees. A fine lacework of lilac shadow rocks back and forth beside the broken old dog statue.
Truly an autumn snow: eight inches with a topping of fallen oak leaves. In the green and brown lilac, a house finch’s purple breast.
The lilac leaves have faded and folded into a thousand variations on an origami wing, bird or bat or moth, ready for their one big flight.
Sun floods the treetops. A red-tailed hawk glides in and lands with a thump. In the dark lilac, a tiny winter wren bustles about.
Back to sweater weather. The catbird in the French lilac has found a mate—they’re hopping around apparently evaluating nesting material.
Overcast and cool. Two male catbirds are calling from the old lilacs in adjacent yards. The world is somehow still as it should be.
Three clumps of pale mushrooms have appeared in the yard, one bearing an old leaf aloft like an extra parasol. Waves of lilac scent.
A red-tailed hawk flies just inside the woods’ edge, past the birches with their catkins and the rambling old lilac just coming into bloom.
High in the lilac, a squirrel wedges a freshly dug-up walnut between three branches, descends, climbs back, retrieves it and carries it off.
In the steady rain, a winter wren sings his summer song at the woods’ edge; on a log over the creek; in the heart of the gold-budded lilac.