Sunrise. A squirrel carries a freshly dug-up walnut in its mouth. The tulip tree’s leaves are already big enough to wave like a rave of one.
The tulip trees have burst their buds—a gray-green haze. Hermit thrush in my left ear, thunder in my right.
Clear and cold. Sunlight fills the tall tulip tree, which is shaped like martini glass, from the top down. A woodpecker duets with his echo.
After sunrise, a brief interval of soft light before rain clouds close in. The tulip tree hosts a slow-moving ménage à trois of squirrels.
Fog. A squirrel is peeling ribbons of bark from the branches of the big tulip tree. And all these years I’ve been blaming porcupines!
Cloudy and cold. In the thinning treetops, a squirrel takes a wild leap to lose a suitor. Tulip tree samaras helicopter down.
Rain and fog. With the goldenrod going gray, the yellow has moved from the meadow to the woods’ edge: spicebush, walnut, birch, elm, tulip tree.
Tulip poplar leaves waving like four-fingered, cartoon hands. A shimmer of mizzle thickens into rain. The Carolina wrens go on dueting.
Rising late, I wonder what I’ve missed out on. The sun goes in. Two brown creepers scuttle around to the far side of the big tulip tree.
Bright sun. High in the tulip tree, among the shining leaf nubbins, two robins meet for combat and tumble to the ground.
In bright sun, the tulip poplar’s green torch beside a black cherry’s cloud of tiny pink leaves.
Bone-achingly cold. A squirrel navigating the tulip tree walks on the undersides of snowy limbs. Sunrise stains the western ridge blood-red.
Patchy gray sky. A red-breasted nuthatch alights on a tulip tree limb stripped bare by a porcupine, a few bast fibers flapping in the wind.
The tulip tree next to the springhouse is nearly bare, its last few leaves waving like four-fingered cartoon hands as the sky darkens to rain.