Pulling my hat down against the sun, I glimpse a brown creeper on the dark side of a trunk. Every breeze strips more leaves from the lilac.
-5°C. The wilted and faded lilac leaves have acquired mold-like coats of frost. A white-breasted nuthatch’s nasal two notes.
Squirrels sound the predator alarm, and a song sparrow in the lilac stays motionless for minutes, until I’m half-convinced it’s just a burl.
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.