I haven’t seen a porcupine lately, but who else could be debarking the tulip tree’s lower branches? They glow white against the rainy woods.
A break in the rain. In the barberry bush, a titmouse shakes himself all over. A squirrel pauses on a tulip tree limb to scratch his belly.
The tall tulip tree has burst its buds—shining green nubbins against the deep blue. Two crows chase a raven, diving, jeering themselves on.
Foggy and damp. Small flies—or large midges—drift back and forth. A few branches high in the big tulip tree appear to be freshly debarked.
Two tulip poplar leaves vibrate in a private wind: chickadees. The western ridge turns from blood-red to orange to yellow—autumn in reverse.
As many hours as the wind has been blowing, a strong gust brings still more leaves. A tulip poplar samara helicopters almost to the porch.
Home! A migrant wood thrush softly calls over the roar of the rain-swollen creek. In the big tulip tree, a squirrel is building a drey.
In the steady rain, a gray squirrel is climbing all over the big tulip tree, as if searching for something. A raven goes croaking overhead.
The sound of chainsaws from over the ridge. A chipmunk races up the big tulip poplar and returns to earth along the first, hung-down limb.
A tulip-tree leaf under the drip line cups its portion of rain. A chipmunk hidden in the dead grass shrieks when I turn the page of my book.