The big windthrown locust tree is nearly invisible in the high weeds. Out back, an old snake skin flutters from the branches of a spicebush.
Red: berries on a leafless spicebush, gaps between segments of a curled-up black caterpillar, paint on the porch floor lifting like leaves.
A downy woodpecker in the spicebush hangs from a silk moth cocoon, trying to reach the pupa, but the soft stuff defeats her hammer and nail.
It’s cloudy, but the forest understorey glows with autumn color. A phoebe hawks flies from the spicebush, gurgling with satisfaction.
At the woods’ edge, a jumble of bone-white sticks: spicebush branches debarked by rabbits. A gray blur where a titmouse grooms in the lilac.
Around the side of the house, a male goldfinch gorges on spicebush berries—silent for once, as if unwilling to share his find.
I get up to pick the ripe berries on the spicebush in my garden. Allspice aroma wafts up from the red drupes as I pinch them off the twigs.