Snow on the ground and in the air. When the wind eddies around to the east, a great flock of shriveled leaves lifts off from the lilac.
Flakes in the air. The lilac leaves hold on, faded and stiff. And with my brown clothes and dark red hat, I suddenly realize I match the oaks.
On a dark morning, fall colors that seemed bland yesterday are bright embers. Behind the still-green lilac, a deer’s pale legs.
Sunny and hot. A catbird skulks in lilac shade. The unfurling beaks of wild garlic point in all directions, like a nervous flock of cranes.
A mid-morning pause in the rain. The towhee attacks a catbird gathering dead grass under the lilac, driving it off, then sings in triumph.
Overshadowed by the sprawling French lilac like an opening act, the old bridal wreath bush keeps sending out white sprays.
The last to shed leaves in the fall is the first to regrow them: sprawling lilac with green tongues just long enough to catch drops of rain.
The sky lightens and the rain eases off after a full night’s shift. The lilac looks twice as green as it did yesterday.
Behind the lilac with its new-green nubbins all aglow, a blue-headed vireo’s slow querying, separate from the turkey’s strident demands.
A ray of sun strikes the lilac, setting its yellow buds aglow. The sound of water gurgling under my yard. The back-and-forth of nuthatches.
Backlit by the rising sun for the first time since early May, when the forest behind it leafed out, the old French lilac looks newly green.
The green alien at the center of my view—the sprawling old lilac—has at last begun to yellow. The wingbeats of a crow break the silence.
Bright and warm. A squirrel in the lilac drops to the ground for a quick roll, as if scratching an itch. A fat fly moves into the shade.
Sunny and cold. The intense green of the lilac’s new leaves against the brown woods moves me almost to tears. A blue-headed vireo sings.